Graduate Student Opportunities

Innovative Detrital Provenance Studies - Double Dating PLUS

A major thrust of my current research the development and application of more comprehensive isotopic detrital provenance tools. U-Pb on zircon is clearly the big work horse, but only goes so far and sometimes yields "no" useful info, e.g., if the source of the sediment is mostly recycled sediment. We have extensively pursued double dating of zircons by U-Pb and He, as zircon He ages yield very interesting insights into the thermal and tectonic history of the source terrane; often yielding very different insights than crystallization ages. The combination is powerful, but I think we can take things so much farther by combining double dating with other constrains. People have tried fission track (not precise enough), Hf/Hf (to get mantle separation model ages), etc., but what we want to do and are working on is really Double Dating ++, combining zircon U-Pb-He dating with a variety of other geochemical aspects to more comprehensive understand detrital provenance and improve paleo-tectonic reconstructions. For example, trace-element thermometry (Ti in zirc), REE on zircon (met vs mag origin), Hf/Hf (see above), oxygen isotopes, etc. and also to develop rutile in an analogous manner (e.g., Zr in rut thermometry, Cr/Nb ratio (mafic vs granulitic), REE, etc.). The sky is the limit and what can learn so much. The issue in part it, how much can a single grain tell us before it's gone? The project sounds very laboratory oriented, but it's really a combination of field and lab work. We have identified a few possible case study areas, e.g., Morocco; great exposures, long-lived and preserved record of basin deposition since the Precambrian. My group is already working on some case studies in NW Himalayas, the N & S Pyrenees, the Sevier FTB, Permian Basin and other foreland basin. New projects include provenance studies along rifted and passive continental margins such the Gulf of Mexico, the central Atlantic Margins in Canada, USA, Portugal, and Morocco.

Posted by: Daniel Stockli

Laser ablation (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He dating of zircon and apatite

Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in noble gas geo-thermochronology and geochemistry to pursue project in method development and application of laser ablation (U-Th)/He dating and depth profile 4He/3He thermochronometry of zircon and apatite. Our laboratory has a dedicated noble gas extraction line with a SFT magnetic sector noble gas mass spectrometer and dedicated Excimer Laser. The lab also houses two Element2 magnetic sector single collector ICP-MS instruments with a second Excimer laser as well as a state-of-the-art Bruker optical interferometric microscope. The project will develop laser ablation methodology to recover detailed thermal histories from apatite and zircon by laser ablation (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He dating as well as comparison to step-heating fractional loss experiments.

Posted by: Daniel Stockli

LA-ICP-MS single-pule U-Pb depth profiling recovery of thermal histories

Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in in-situ geochronology to pursue project in method development and application of laser ablation continuous mode or single-pulse U-Pb LA-ICP-MS geo-thermochronology as well as trace element speedometry to constrain thermal history or lower and middle crustal rocks. The UTChron Geo- and Thermochronometry laboratory houses two Element2 magnetic sector single collector ICP-MS instruments with a large-volume cell Excimer laser system, ideally suited for depth profiling and U-Pb and trace element split stream analysis. The laboratory also houses a Bruker optical interferometric microscope to control laser ablation rates as well as a Raman system. The focus of applications is on method development and application to the exhumation of middle and lower crustal rocks in rifted margin settings.

Posted by: Daniel Stockli

Ph.D. Project Greece Petrochronology and tectonic evolution of the Cycladic Blueschist Complex (University of Texas at Austin)

Duration: 4-5 years

Ph.D. project available in the Stockli Research Group and UTChron Laboratory of the Dept of Geological Sciences (https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/dgs/) at the Jackson School of Geosciences (https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/) of The University of Texas at Austin. The project focuses on the tectonic and metamorphic evolution of the Cycladic Blueschist Complex in central and northern Greece to constrain the tectonic and metamorphic evolution of one of the worlds best-exposed subduction complexes. The project entails field mapping and structural analysis with strong emphasis on accessory mineral (zircon, apatite, titanite) LA-ICP-MS petrochronology, microanalytical mineral imaging and elemental and isotopic mapping, and low-temperature (U-Th)/He thermochronometry of the Cycladic Blueschist Complex in central and north-eastern Greece with the goal of constraining the pre-subduction, subduction, and exhumation history of Cycladic blueschists and understanding subduction underplating within the Hellenic subduction complex. The project is a collaboration with the University of Athens (Prof. Soukis) and we are seek an outstanding, motivated, and independent PhD student with interested in combining field and cutting-edge laboratory work.

Interested candidates should contact Dr. Daniel Stockli with any inquiries and questions regarding the project or application procedures. For more information regarding the Stockli Research Group (https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/stockli-group/), the UTChron Laboratory (https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/utchron-lab/) please see these website links.

Applications are due January 1, 2022, and information about applying to our program is online using the online application from the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Austin. Applications must be complete in the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) by the appropriate deadline. ALL ITEMS must be received by the deadline. We currently do not require submission of a GRE score for the application for the Fall of 2022. International applicants do require submission of TOEFL scores.

For general admissions questions, please see https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/education/graduate/admissions/

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. With nearly 52,000 students from all 50 states and 123 countries, we take seriously our motto: What Starts Here Changes the World. We boast 18 colleges and schools with over 300 degree programs, representing a diversity of thought and scholarship that is staggering. The Dept. of Geological Sciences at UT seeks to foster an environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion where faculty, students, and staff feel valued and welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, nationality, veteran status, socio-economic status, political beliefs, physical or cognitive ability, and age.

Posted by: Daniel Stockli

PhD opportunity in Subduction Zone Seafloor Geodesy and Megathrust Processes

We are currently seeking a PhD student to join the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Jackson School of Geosciences, at The University of Texas at Austin. This NSF-funded project focuses on the analysis of data from borehole observatories installed at the offshore Hikurangi subduction zone in New Zealand, to investigate slow slip event processes on the plate boundary. The student working on this project will have the opportunity to collaborate with a broad team of principal investigators, postdocs and students addressing the interplay between hydrological, geochemical, and deformation processes and their relationship to earthquake and slow slip occurrence at subduction zones. The student will also have opportunities to participate in seagoing research voyages, and be part of a vibrant subduction geophysics and geomechanics research program at UTIG that includes deep expertise in marine geophysics, seafloor geodesy, numerical modeling, laboratory experimentation, geomechanics, fault geology, and ocean drilling.

For information please contact Laura Wallace (lwallace@utexas.edu) and Demian Saffer (demian.saffer@austin.utexas,edu).

All applications must be submitted by the appropriate deadline (December 1st 2022 for priority and fellowship consideration, and January 1st for all applications). See https://gradschool.utexas.edu/admissions/how-to-apply. More information about the application process can be found at The University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences admissions portal: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/education/graduate/admissions/.

For additional information concerning the application process, contact the Jackson School of Geosciences graduate Program Coordinator, Philip Guerrero: philipg@jsg.utexas.edu.

Posted by: Demian Saffer