Deep Crust and Mantle Dynamics Group

Understanding the dynamic physical and chemical processes that are shaping the Earth requires a multi-dimensional approach. DCMD faculty, students, and post-docs bring different areas of expertise to focus on interdisciplinary research questions. Current research areas include: geophysical imaging of the deep earth, chemical evolution of the crust and mantle, tectonics, and planetary dynamics.  Ongoing DCMD research includes experimental studies of the deformation of minerals, field-based characterization of the rheology of mantle rocks and deformation at plate boundaries, and numerical modeling of subduction processes, mantle flow and differentiation. DCMD researchers also characterize the isotopic and chemical compositions of rocks and minerals as these provide a record of the processes involved in creation and evolution of the present-day crust and upper mantle.


Mark Everett

Mark Everett

Near-surface Applied Geophysics

Andreas Kronenberg

Andreas Kronenberg

Tectonophysics, Structural Geology, Rock Mechanics

Julie Newman

Julie Newman

Structural Geology and Tectonics

Nick Perez

Nick Perez

Tectonics, basin dynamics, fold-thrust belts, continental rifts


David Sparks

Numerical Modeling, Geodynamics, Grannular Materials


Electron Microprobe Laboratory

The electron microprobe is widely applied in the chemical characterization of solid materials, including minerals, metals, and biological specimens. This instrument is used to image and chemically characterize features as small as one micron, and is particularly well suited for quick, accurate, and sensitive analysis of all chemical elements from beryllium (atomic number 4) to the man-made elements beyond uranium (at. no. 92). These elements can usually be detected in concentrations as low as one hundred parts per million or less at the scale of a few microns.

Radiogenic Isotope Geosciences Laboratory

The Radiogenic Isotope Geosciences Laboratory is a 1550 ft2 laboratory complex that consists of a perchloric acid fume hood room, gown-up room, dilution and weighing room, clean general chemistry room (<2000 particles >0.3 μm per ft3 air), ultra-clean chemistry room (<100 particles >0.3 μm per ft3 air). Clean-air workstations in each chemistry lab are better than 100 particles >0.3 μm per ft3 air and two recirculating laminar flow hoods both tested at zero particles. The instrument room houses a Triton thermal-ionization mass spectrometer, an Element XR high-resolution inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer, and a Photon Machines Analyte 193 laser-ablation system.

Fluid Inclusion Laboratory

Equipped with a modified USGS heating and freezing stage, designed by Fluid Inc. USA. This allows microthermometry to be performed on inclusions. Passing heated air or nitrogen over the sample, permits heating of inclusions to 700 °C. By passing nitrogen gas through liquid nitrogen and then over the sample, inclusions can be cooled to -190 °C.

Microscopy and Imaging Center

Materials Characterization Facility

Handin Laboratory for Experimental Rock Deformation


GEOL 681 Deep Crust and Mantle Dynamics Seminar

In addition to courses in each disciplinary research area, the DCMD group runs a seminar series, offered annually during the Fall semester, which affords faculty and students the opportunity to bring their diverse areas of expertise to bear on important problems of mutual interest. The seminars facilitate the integration of laboratory and field-based deformation studies, numerical modeling, geophysical studies, and geochemical investigations.

GEOL 643 Introduction to Electron Microprobe Analysis

This course, offered annually during the Fall semester, provides graduate students in the geological and materials sciences with basic electron beam and X-ray microanalysis theory and shows them how to apply it to analytical problems using the Cameca SX50 electron microprobe.

GEOL 689 Metamorphic Petrology

This course examines the origin and evolution of metamorphic rocks. Topics include geothermobarometry, phase equilibria, fluid-rock interaction, and the relations between metamorphic and tectonic processes.

GEOP 470 Computational Geophysics

Introduction to fundamental geophysical problems in heat and mass transport, gravity, fluid flow, and elasticity; conservation equations, constitutive equations, boundary conditions; scaling geologic problems.

GEOL 310 Planetary Geology

An introduction to planetary science. Topics include organization and composition of the solar system, including planets, satellites and asteroids; surface features and internal structures of the terrestrial planets and moons of the outer planets; the dynamic processes of planetary resurfacing, including volcanism, tectonism, weathering and impacts; the history and future of the solar system exploration.

GEOL 609 Field Geology

GEOL 645 Geochronology

GEOL 689 Rheology of Naturally Deformed Rocks

GEOL 678 Earth Science Modeling

Techniques for building, solving and analyzing numerical models applied to a wide variety of problems in geology, geochemistry, geobiology and geophysics; derivation and scaling of conservation laws; finite difference and finite element techniques and error analysis; laboratories will involve programming models in MATLAB or a high-level language.

GEOP 611 Geomechanics

GEOP 651 Theoretical Seismology

GEOP 666 Principles of Geodynamics

GEOP 660 Physics of the Earth's Interior

GEOP 652 Earthquake Seismology