Research in the Rio Grande rift area of southern Colorado

Mary Hubbard, PhD

Charles 'Jack' Oviatt, PhD

Department of Geology

Doctors Hubbard and Oviatt continued research activities in the northern Rio Grande rift area of southern Colorado. This work was aimed at the understanding of the timing of crustal extension and the geometry of fault systems that have been active during this extensional deformaion. For the previous 5-6 years, they worked in the Upper Arkansas valley and supervised six Master's theses and two undergraduate theses in the area. Generally the work was field-based, though supplemented with satellite imagery including a high-resolution Ikonos image. Students also conducted petrologic and geochronologic analysis.

During this year, Hubbard and Oviatt made an effort to synthesize their work with the work of their students. They led a field trip associated with the Geological Society of America's national meeting to showcase their findings in the area. They have also used three different methods of age dating to determine the ages of deposited material in the rift basin and the cooling history of the crystalline rocks in the adjacent mountain ranges.

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