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Dolomitization

Sinks Canyon, WY

For years my research has involved carbonate rocks, particularly dolomites. The “dolomite” problem is really multiple but the main question involves the “fact” that although there is a paucity of dolomite sediments forming today, dolomites are much more common in ancient rocks. I have studied various dolomite units, primarily of Paleozoic age (dolomites of that age are relatively common) in order to try to understand the process(es) of dolomitization. There seem to be “dolomites and dolomites”(i.e., there are various kinds of dolomite and causes of dolomitization). I have relied heavily on field work but also on laboratory studies such as basic petrography (including the scanning electron microscope), X-ray diffractometry, and geochemistry (stable isotopes and trace element analysis). In many of these studies I have collaborated with workers in the New York State Geological Survey, UNOCAL Research, and other workers from the USA and abroad.

Areas of Current Research

  • Petrology and dolomitization of flat-pebble conglomerates in the uppermost Gallatin Limestone (Cambrian), west-central Wyoming.
  • Carbonate petrology and dolomitization in the Madison Limestone (Mississippian) of west-central Wyoming.
  • Aspects of the history of geology.

Steamboat Point

Past Collaborations with Students

  • LeAndra Archuleta, ’94 (Keck Hydrology Project)
  • Amy Berger, ’91 (Thesis)
  • Christian Curtis, ’96 (Thesis Co-advisor)
  • Cara Davis, ’88 (Keck San Salvador Project)
  • Veronica Diaz, ’95 (Keck Hyrology Project)
  • Stephanie Fisk, ’96 (Thesis)
  • Heidi Glasser, ’99 (Thesis)
  • Arwen Harris, ’95 (Thesis Co-advisor)
  • Mark Hespenheide, ’95 (Thesis)
  • Steve McKnight, ’90 (Thesis)
  • Adam Nealey, ’99 (Thesis)
  • Sheetal Singh, ’95 (Thesis)