The Crust and Mantle Dynamics group at the University of Georgia focuses on the composition, structure and evolution of the crust and upper mantle. Important themes include tectonics of the crust and upper mantle, generation and crystallization of mafic and silicic magmas, and petrogenesis of rocks in mountain systems. Active research programs include geophysics, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and structure and tectonics. Faculty and student research in this area has been funded from a variety of federal and private sources including NSF, NATO, Geological Society of America, American Association for Petroleum Geology, and Sigma Xi. Student research is also funded by the Department of Geology through the Miriam Watts-Wheeler Graduate Student Scholarship, the Joseph W. Berg Scholarship in Geophysics and the Gilles O. and Bernadette Allard Geology Award. Students from the Crust and Mantle Dynamics group pursue careers in academia, government laboratories, and the petroleum and environmental industries.
Research in Geophysics at the University of Georgia specializes in the use of varied imaging techniques to deduce the structure of the crust and upper mantle. Rob Hawman uses seismograph arrays to investigate the structure of the crust and uppermost mantle; recent experiments have focused on the deep structure of the southern Appalachians. Erv Garrison uses radar, electrical and magnetic methods to examine shallow earth geophysics especially the at-or-near surface expression of fracturing/faulting as well as buried geohydrological features.
Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Research in petrology at the University of Georgia centers on the compositional evolution of the crust and upper mantle. Alberto Patiño-Douce is interested in the origin and evolution of the Earth’s continents, which he studies through a combination of high-pressure experiments and theoretical modeling. Sam Swanson studies the crystallization of intermediate and silicic magmas and the petrogenesis of metaultramafic rocks in the Appalachian Orogen. Mike Roden studies the petrology and composition of the upper mantle through analysis of the mineralogy and bulk composition of mantle-derived xenoliths and magmas.
Structural Geology and Tectonics
Research in Structural Geology and Tectonics at the University of Georgia focuses on orogenesis (mountain-building) at active continental margins and on the dispersal pathways of tectonic terranes due to plate tectonics. Jim Wright’s research interests center around the study of the time-space relationship of magmatism to metamorphism and deformation, and the correspondence of plate motions to tectonic events preserved within the geologic record. Sandra Wyld’s research involves field-based studies of tectonostratigraphic terranes and their boundaries with particular emphasis on structural relations and links between deformation and plate tectonics. Faculty and student research in this program has most recently been in the western North American Cordillera, the southern Caribbean, and Far-East Arctic Russia.