Geologists Blog While Conducting Research in Alaska


Alaska map

This figure provides a general location of where this study will take place in the western Alaska Range (yellow star) and also shows two examples of the larger terranes (blue and orange map patterns) that have been added to the North American Cordillera over the past 300 million years. The blue map pattern represents the Farwell terrane and the focus of this study.

Brian Hampton, assistant professor of geology, was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to examine the origin and tectonic history of the Farewell terrane in Alaska.

For the next three weeks, Hampton and two MSU undergraduate geology majors are conducting field work in the remote backcountry of the western Alaska Range – home to some of the highest mountains in the North America.

Hampton, along with students Cody MacDonald and Kraig Koroleski, are blogging about their experiences in the field as they conduct the research. They are collecting  geologic samples that will be analyzed in the lab and used to help better understand the tectonic history and sedimentary basin development of the Farewell terrane. The MSU Geology in the Field blog  is providing photos and stories related to their research experiences.

The goals of this project are to determine the origin, timing, and tectonic evolution of the Farewell terrane which is thought to have originated in parts of Siberia and has since been tectonically transported and accreted to its current position in the southern Alaska. This project is also contributing to the field and lab training of students by exposing them to the challenges of conducting research in remote backcountry as well as in cutting-edge research lab facilities.

The research project, titled “Tracking the Siberian-Laurentian Detrital Transition in the Farewell Terrane, Southwestern Alaska,” is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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