Research Projects

San Andreas Fault Dating

The San Andreas Fault in California has variable slip behavior along its length, with a stable central section sandwiched between the earthquake-producing northern and southern sections. Because the central San Andreas fault relieves strain through aseismic creep, it is not thought to nucleate earthquakes. What still remains a relatively open question though, is whether earthquakes that nucleate in either the northern or southern locked sections can propagate into or through the central San Andreas fault.

The Turkana Basin

Lab members Stephen Cox and Sidney Hemming received an internal grant from the Columbia Global Centers (PGIF) that allowed us to initiate a collaborative project in the Turkana Basin in 2017 with international partners at Stony Brook University and the Turkana Basin Institute and several other institutions. The basin is famous for the early hominid fossils that have been found exposed in the sediments due to the dry climate and the extension of the basin due to rifting in the East African Rift System (EARS).

Mono Lake

Mono Lake is a special place with something for every earth scientist: the striking granitic peaks of the Sierra Nevada separated from the lake by the Sierra Nevada Fault, glacial moraines pouring forth from them, the line of young volcanos marching into the lake in the Mono-Inyo Craters, the stack of associated ashes interbedded with thick deposits of lake sediments, abundant geomorphological evidence for changes in lake level associated with past climate variability, and the extreme chemistry and biology of the lake itself.

Past Agulhas Current System and Global Ocean Circulation Context

Western boundary currents are a key part of the surface ocean circulation that transport heat and salt and thus they connect the ocean to the global climate system The Agulhas Current is the strongest western boundary current on Earth, and it flows southward along the southeast African coast. The heat and salt that “leak” into the Atlantic Ocean from the Indian Ocean at the Agulhas retroflection, where the current parts from the coast at the southern tip of South Africa and turns back to the Southern Indian Ocean.

Columbia Affiliations