Research

I am interested in the effect of serpentinization on tectonic and geochemical processes. As a PhD student in Dr. Daniel Stockli's laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, I use (U-Th)/He thermochronology and trace element geochemistry to 1) date magnetite that form during fluid alteration, 2) investigate the geochemical fingerprints of serpentinization at different tectonic settings, and 3) constrain the thermal history of ophiolites. 

Magnetite grain within a carbonate vein cutting through serpentinized peridotite (Wadi Fins, Oman)

Magnetite grain within a carbonate vein cutting through serpentinized peridotite (Wadi Fins, Oman)

magnetite (u-th)/he thermochronology

Benchmark studies demonstrated that magnetite (U-Th)/He chronometry can be used to date volcanic and ore rocks.

I am tailoring a method to date magnetite grains that form during serpentinization, the hydrous alteration of peridotite. 

This process has given me experience with a number of analytical techniques including X-Ray Computed Tomography, Scanning Electron Microscopy, QMS, and ICP-MS.

Contact between tectonic breccia and serpentinized mantle (Malenco, Italy)

Contact between tectonic breccia and serpentinized mantle (Malenco, Italy)

age of serpentinites

Serpentinites are found in relation to all types of plate boundaries. The timing of serpentinization, however, has been challenging to determine due to a lack of minerals with established dating techniques.

My approach is to use magnetite to date serpentinites from a variety of tectonic environments.

My field areas include the hyper-extended margin settings in the Swiss Alps and the Iberia-Newfoundland margin, an exhumed subduction complex in Syros, Greece, and the Oman ophiolite.

Finger on the Moho (Wadi Abyad, Oman)

Finger on the Moho (Wadi Abyad, Oman)

tectonic geochemical fingerprints

Serpentinites contain distinct geochemical fingerprints based on the melt history of the peridotite, and the composition of the serpentinizing fluid.

I use a combination of major, trace and stable isotope geochemistry to investigate the tectonic setting of serpentinization.

I am particularly interested in the mobility of uranium during serpentinization, and signatures of seawater alteration.