CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

  1. Drivers for basin formation and lacustrine evolution through the Eocene sedimentary record in eastern Nevada and the implications for the timing and magnitude of Basin and Range extension, using basin stratigraphy, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, stable isotope analysis, and detrital zircon (U-Th)/(He-Pb) double dating.

    Status: Six weeks of fieldwork and sampling completed, stratigraphic sections at multiple locations completed and correlated, first round of stable isotope, 40Ar/39Ar, and detrital zircon samples separated and analyzed. NSF Collaborative Research Project funded with D. Stockli of University of Texas, M.E. Smith of Sonoma State, and B. Singer and B. Jicha of the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Cassel and University of Texas student Nikki Seymour presented research on this project at the GSA Fall Meeting 2013.

  2. Paleogene drainage morphology and fluvial system evolution of the western United States through detailed sedimentologic and stratigraphic analysis, detrital zircon sediment provenance and stable isotope and geochemical analyses of rhyolitic ignimbrites.

    Status: Five weeks of field work and sampling completed, stratigraphic sections at multiple locations completed, paleocurrent analysis completed, stable isotope and geochemical samples separated and analyzed, half of detrital zircon samples separated and analyzed, data presented at AGU 2012, manuscript (with D. Breecker, T. Larsen, and D. Stockli of University of Texas) submitted.

  3. History of Cenozoic uplift and forearc basin evolution in the southern Peruvian, using sedimentologic and stratigraphic characterization of forearc sediments, detrital zircon geochronology, and stable isotope analysis of rhyolitic ignimbrites.

    Status: Three weeks of fieldwork and sampling in Peru completed, samples currently being separated and analyzed.

  4. Testing the durability and stability of the volcanic glass proxy and improving methods of application for stable isotope analysis.

    Status: Glass samples separated and isotopic compositions determined, acid abrasion tests completed, geochemical analyses completed, rind formation experiments completed, some samples ready for analysis, manuscript in preparation (with D. Breecker of University of Texas).