Cenozoic history of the ridge that border the Weddell and Scotia Sea
Hypotheses relating to the impacts of the opening of Drake Passage and the Scotia Sea that established the world’s largest ocean current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), cannot be fully tested because we do not know the configuration of the continental fragments that were originally between South America and Antarctica at the time of breakup (circa 50 Ma) and their uplift and burial histories during and after breakup.
In collaboration with colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) I use a combination of apatite fission track and U-Th-He thermochronometry and detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology to constrain pre-break up locations and rock uplift histories of South Georgia and South Orkney.
- The largest mountain belt for over 500 myrs has had a major impact on the earth system. There is much to learn about how the orogen grew and its influences on ocean geochemistry local and global climate.
- Collaborators: Robert Anckiewicz (Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow) John Cottle (University of California, Santa Barbara), Ramesh Patel (Kurukshetra University, India), Mike Searle (University of Oxford), Yani Najman (Lancaster University), Eduardo Garzanti (University of Milan), Peter Clift (Louisiana), Sanjeev Gupta (Imperial College), Linda Kirstein (University of Edinburgh)
- Despite being one of the most intensely studied orogens there is still much to learn about the early stages of collision and the dynamic relationships between thrusts, erosion and sediment transfer to foreland basins.
- Collaborators: Phillip Allen (Imperial College), Hugh Sinclair (Edinburgh University)
- Understanding Cenozoic deformation with Hoang van Long (Hanoi University of Mining and Geology)
Altai and Kunlun Mountains
- The Altai mountain range extends from Siberia through China into Mongolia. The kunlun are located to the south along the northern margin of Tibet. The development of these mountain ranges is linked to far field stresses arising from India-Asia collision but timing of deformation and growth of topography is poorly understood.
- Collaborators: Wanming Yuan (University of Geosciences Beijing), Mongolian University of Science and Technology, Richard Walker, (University of Oxford), Joshua West (University of Southern California)
- Exploration of links between modern topography, N American Climate, and N Hemisphere glaciations
- Collaborators: Randy Parrish (University of Leicester), Fin Stuart (SURRC)
- The Greater Caucasus is Europe’s largest mountain belt and yet, in marked contrast to the Alps, Pyrenees and Carpathians, relatively little is known about its evolution.
- Collaborator: Steve Vincent, (CASP, University of Cambridge)
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Regional tectonic and climate evolution linked to India-Asia collision
Figure 1 is of a map that shows the locations of collaborative projects directed at investigating the causes and consequences of India-Asia collision
Figure 2 shows the output of a method-based study investigating how fission tracks form and behave within the crystal structure of apatite. This is from the paper: