The entire Pacific Northwest is comprised of island arcs that were "slammed" into North America. It is unclear when that occurred and how long the process lasted. The MSU Tectonics team is trying to understand how long it took island arc terranes to accrete to North America in the Mesozoic. We are currently involved with answering these questions through geologic field mapping, petrologic studies, and radioisotope geochronology (dating rocks using radioactive isotopes).
Our first work published in the area will be published in early 2017. Stay tuned!
U.S. Cordillera-Idaho & Washington Cascades
New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming
In New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming we are studying the Laramide Orogeny and conducting geologic mapping to search for structures related to the earliest deformation associated with this major tectonic event that is largely responsible for building the Rocky Mountains.