2014 News Archives

Fall Commencement 2014

Dec 19, 2014


On Friday December 19, 2014 LSU held its 285th Commencement Exercises. The Department of Geology & Geophysics would like to congratulate the following students for completing their degrees:

Bryan Killingsworth, PhD

Advisor: Huiming Bao

"Untangling Earth system responses recorded in sulfate's sulphur and oxygen isotopes at the dawn of multicellular life and today"

Isil Akyuz, MS

Advisor: Sophie Warny

"Palynology of the Cretaceous Ferron-NOTOM Sandstone, Utah"

Chase Billeaudeau, MS

Advisor: Alexander Webb

"Preliminary Investigation of the Geometry and Kinematics of the Bangong-Jujiang Suture at the Basu Metamorphic Massif, SE Tibet"

Laura Sorey, MS

Advisor: Sam Bentley

"Paleoclimatology and Paleotempestology Study of the Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef, Belize through Geochemical proxies"

Bachelor of Science Degree Recipients

Hussain Alqattan, University Medal Award Recipient for earning a perfect 4.0 GPA  

Hussam Alsadeg

Kevin Broussard

Will Brown

Ryan Fox

Mitchell Gregory

Charles McGaw III

Patrick Piche

David Rau

Chandler Warren

Good luck to all of our graduates on your future endeavors!!

G&G at AGU 2014

Dec 15, 2014


Faculty and students in the Department of Geology & Geophysics will be a major force at the 2014 American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco this week. The department has a booth in the Academic Showcase located in the exhibit hall along with a wide variety of presentations, posters, and convened sessions given throughout the conference.

MONDAY December 15
Critically Stressed Crust in Southern California: A Model of Crustal Stress from Plate Driving, Topography, and Fault Loading, with Geodetic and Seismic Constraints
Luttrell, K., B. Smith-Konter, and D. SandwellT12B-01
Monday, 10:20am
Marriott Marquis - Salon 13-15 
A Study of the King’s Bowl Phreatic Explosion Crater as an Analog to Pits on Solar System Exploration Target Bodies.
Sears, D., Hughes, S., Kobs-Nawotniak, S., Borg, C., Kyeong, K., Sears, H., Skok, J.R., Elphic, R., Lim, D., Heldmann, J., Haberle, C., Guy, H., Kobayashi, L., Garry, B., Neish, C.
Monday, December 15, 2014, 01:40 PM - 06:00 PM
Moscone South - Poster Hall 
Reconstruction of a Phreatic Explosion from Block Dispersion Modeling at King’s Bowl, Idaho. 
Kobs-Nawotniak, S., Sears, D., Hughes, S., Borg, C., Kyeong, K., Sears, H., Skok, J.R., Elphic, R., Lim, D., Heldmann, J., Haberle, C., Guy, H., Kobayashi, L., Garry, B., Neish, C.
Monday, December 15, 201402:25 PM - 02:40 PM
Marriott Marquis - Salon 10-12 
King’s Bowl Pit Crater, Lava Field and Eruptive Fissure, Idaho – A Multipurpose Volcanic Planetary Analog.
Hughes, S., Garry, B., Kobs-Nawotniak, S., Sears, D., Borg, C., Kyeong, K., Sears, H., Elphic, R., Skok, J.R., Lim, D., Heldmann, J., Haberle, C., Kobayashi, L.
Monday, December 15, 20140, 1:40 PM - 06:00 PM
Moscone South - Poster Hall 
A Study by Remote Sensing Methods of Volcanism at Craters of the Moon National Park, Idaho.
Haberle, C., Hughes, S., Kobs-Nawotniak, S., Sears, D., Downs, M., Busto, J., Skok, J.R., Elphic, R., Lim, D., Heldmann, J., Kobayashi, L., Garry, B.
Monday, December 15, 2014, 01:40 PM - 06:00 PM
Moscone South - Poster Hall 
First results from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) Field Campaign, a Lunar Polar Rover Mission Analog.
Heldmann, J., Colaprete, A., Cook, A., Deans, M., Elphic, R., Lim, D., Skok, J.
Monday, December 15, 2014, 08:48 AM - 09:00 AM
Moscone West  
TUESDAY December 16 
Using Intermediate-Field Terms in Locating Microseismic Events
Lorenzo, J., Taleghani, A. D., LeCalvez, J.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 08:45 AM - 09:00 AM
Marriott Marquis - Salon 8 
Triple-oxygen and sulfur isotopic evidence for diagenetic overprinting of carbonate-associated sulfate in Neoproterozoic samples from a drill core
Peng, Y., Wang, W., Pratt, L., Zhou, C., Bao, H., Hayles, J.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone West - Poster Hall 
Anomalous Cenozoic Post-Rift Uplift in the North Atlantic; The Role of Mantle Plumes, Transform Margins and Propagating Rifts
Clift, P., Dorr, N., Spiegel, C.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone West - Poster Hall   
WEDNESDAY December 17 
New constraints on the Geochronology and Thermochronology of the Sawtooth Batholith, Idaho.
Dutrow, B., Foster, D., Mueller, A, Ma, C.
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 8:00 - 12:00
Moscone - South Poster Hall 
Exploring the Igneous Evolution of Mars with Observations and Analogs I (Comparative Planetology and Habitability Swirl)
Karunatillake, S., Wray,J., Skok, J.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 1:40 – 3:40 pm
Moscone West - 2011 
Assessing Subaqueous Mudflow Hazard on the Mississippi River Delta Front, Part 1: A Historical Perspective on Mississippi River Delta Front Sedimentation
J.M. Maloney, S.J. Bentley, J. Obelcz, K. Xu, M.D. Miner, I.Y. Georgiou, K. Hanegan, G. Keller
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1:40-6:00pm
Moscone West Poster Hall 
An REU Project on the Precambrian Rocks of Yellowstone National Park: Some lessons learned
Henry, D., Mogk, D., Mueller, P., Foster, D.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone South- Poster Hall 
The Heat-Pipe Hypothesis for Early Crustal Development of Terrestrial Planets
Webb, A., Moore, W., Simon, J.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 03:25 PM - 03:40 PM
Moscone West - 2011   
THURSDAY December 18
A signal of Ice Loading in Late Pleistocene Activity of the Sudetic Marginal Fault (Central Europe)
Štěpančíková, P., T. Rockwell, D. Nývlt, F. Hartvich, J. Stemberk, D.H. Rood, J. Hók, M. Ortuňo, M. Myers, K. Luttrell, and N. Wechsler
Thursday, 8:00am
Moscone South - Poster Hall 
Exploring the Igneous Evolution of Mars with Observations and Analogs II Posters
Karunatillake, S.,Wray,J., Skok, J.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 8:00 am – 12:20 pm
Moscone South Poster Hall 
The Unique Formation of the Nili Patera Caldera on Mars.
Skok, J., Karunatillake, S., Fawdon, P.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone South -Poster Hall 
Chemical provinces reveal Elysium Volcano’s compositional evolution.
Susko, D., Karunatillake, S.,Wray, J., Skok., J., Hurowitz, J., Ojha, L., Judice, T., Bently, R.
Thursday, December 18, 201408:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone South - Poster Hall 
Seeking signatures of Martian magmatic evolution within the Greater Thaumasia Plateau
Judice, T., Karunatillake, S.,Rogers, D., Dohm, J., Susko, D.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone South - Poster Hall
Variations in the association of H2O with sulfur on Mars 
Karunatillake, S., Wray, J., Gasnault, O., McLennan, S., Rogers, D., Boynton, W., Skok, J., Ojha, L., Button, N.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone South - Poster Hall 
Role of Plumes and Plates in the Construction and Preservation of Hadean-Archean Continental Nuclei
Mueller, P., Mogk, D., Henry, D., Wooden, J.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 01:40 PM - 06:00 PM
Moscone South - Poster Hall 
Neoproterozoic Glaciation: Interrogation of Data and Models I
Fairchild, I., Bao, H.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 10:20 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone West – 2006 
Neoproterozoic Glaciation: Interrogation of Data and Models II Posters
Fairchild, I., Bao, H.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 01:40 PM - 06:00 PM
Moscone West - Poster Hall 
Orbitally Forced Climatic Fluctuations in Snowball Earth: Compelling Evidence from a Data-Model Study
Benn, D., Fairchild, I., Guillaume, L. H., Fleming, E., Ramstein, G., Stevenson, C., Donnadieu, Y., Bao, H., Hambrey, M., Petronis, M., Wynn, P.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 11:05 AM - 11:20 AM
Moscone West – 2006 
Long-Term Evolution of the East Asian Monsoon and Impact on Erosion and Weathering Around the South China Sea
Clift, P.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 10:35 AM - 10:50 AM
Moscone West – 2008 
Transforming Spatial Reasoning Skills in the Upper-Level Undergraduate Geoscience Classroom Through Curricular Materials Informed by Cognitive Science Research.
Ormand, C., Shipley, T., Dutrow, B., Goodwin, L, Hickson, T., Tikoff, B, Atit, K., Gagnier, K, and Resnick, I.
Thursday, December 18, 11:20 - 11:35am
Moscone South - Rm. 102 
Active anthropogenic and surface salt deformation measured by InSAR, northwestern China
Colon, C., Webb, A.,Lasserre, C., Doin, M.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 01:40 PM - 06:00 PM
Moscone West - Poster Hall 
The Limits of Extrusion in the Western Himalaya
Zhang, K., Webb, A., Donaldson, D., Johnson, S., Elorriaga, T.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone South - Poster Hall   
FRIDAY December 19 
Laboratory Experiments on Wave Emissions Generated by the Variable Viscosity of Fracturing Fluids
Taleghani, A. D., Lorenzo, J.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 01:40 PM - 06:00 PM
Moscone West - Poster Hall 
Uranium Isotope Fractionation During Coprecipitation with Aragonite and Calcite
Chen, X., Romaniello, S., Herrmann, A., Wasylenki, L., Anbar, A.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Moscone West-Poster Hall

Carol Wicks Named a 2014 AAAS Fellow

Nov 25, 2014


Congratulations to our Department Chair, Carol Wicks, on being named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Wicks was one of three LSU Faculty who were named to the list of Fellows for 2014. 

MS and PhD opportunities in Geology and Geophysics


The department of Geology and Geophysics at Louisiana State University invites applicants for graduate studies in both the MS and PhD programs. In particular, students interested in Geophysics, Palynology, and Antartic Climate & Ecology are being sought by our faculty. Click View More below to learn more about the application process and these opportunities.  

Recent Graduate Edward Lo's Thesis Published in Geo-Marine Letters

Sep 15, 2014

Edward Lo (B.S. 2013) has had his undergraduate thesis research published in the journal Geo-Marine Letters. Ed worked alongside Dr. Sam Bentley for the study titled, "Experimental study of cohesive sediment consolidation and resuspension identifies approaches for coastal restoration: Lake Lery, Louisiana." Ed  was recently selected a recipient of a Fulbright Award and plans to continue his future research interests in Brazil. 

Click here to read the article.

Karen Luttrell's Research Featured in Eos

Jun 11, 2014

Dr. Karen Luttrell's research contributions to Hurwitz et al. has been featured in the May 27th issue of Eos. The article "Yellowstone geysers influenced by internal processes" details the study of 10 years of geyser eruption data of two Yellowstone geysers: "Old Faithful" and "Daisy". 

Click here for more information.

Postdoc Researcher J.R. Skok Awarded NASA Grant

May 30, 2014


Congratulations to Dr. J.R. Skok on winning a $368,000 grant from the NASA-ROSES-Mars Data Analyses Program. He will be using the funding to investigate the pre-Noachian crust of Mars. His compelling proposal on a novel idea serves as a major accomplishment especially at the federal level.

J.R. received his PhD from Brown University in 2012 and is a member of Dr. Suniti Karunatillake's planetary science lab.  

New Mineral Species Named After Darrell Henry

May 06, 2014


A new species of tourmaline has been discovered by geologists in the Czech Republic and named “darrellhenryite” in honor of LSU Campanile Charities Professor of Geology Darrell Henry for his scientific contributions to the mineralogy and petrology of the tourmaline supergroup minerals. This new mineral species was discovered by geologists from the Czech Republic in a quarry at Nová Ves near Český Krumlov, Czech Republic.  The mineral was further characterized by crystallographers from the University of Vienna and California Institute of Technology. To name a new species, the mineral has to be fully chemically and structurally characterized, and a new mineral proposal submitted to and accepted by a committee of the International Mineralogical Association. Although darrellhenryite was originally found in the quarry in the Czech Republic, other examples are likely to be found. Already there appears to an example of a green gemmy tourmaline from Maine that is probably darrellhenryite. The type material has been deposited in the collections of the Department of Mineralogy and Petrography of the Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic and in the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C.



 Darrellhenryite from the type locality at Nová Ves, Czech Republic. Photo by Professor George Rossman of the California Institute of Technology.

Over the last 150 years there have been about 4000 species of minerals named. In most cases the species are named after places in which the species is discovered (e.g. elbaite after the island of Elba, Tuscany, Italy) or after some chemical characteristic (e.g. zincite after the high zinc content in the mineral). However, some species are named after geoscientists who have made significant contributions to the science of mineralogy and petrology. This is the case for the new mineral species darrellhenryite. In the published article describing the new mineral species it was stated that “the name is for Darrell J. Henry, Professor of Geology at the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA, an expert on the mineralogy, petrology, crystal chemistry and nomenclature of tourmaline-supergroup minerals”.  This honor is the first instance that a mineral was named after anyone from LSU.

A full desciption is found in: Novák, M., Ertl, A., Povondra, P., Galiová, M.V., Rossman, G.R., Pristacz, H., Prem, M., Giester, G., Gadas, P., and Škoda, R. (2013) Darrellhenryite, Na(LiAl2)Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH)3O, a new mineral from the tourmaline supergroup. American Mineralogist, 98(10), 1886-1892.

Saturday Science features Sophie Warny

Apr 29, 2014


Dr. Sophie Warny, AASP Professor in the Center for Excellence in Palynology, will the featured speaker for the May 3, 2014 installment of Saturday Science. She will giving her talk: "Climate change, oil exploration, crime scene, and allergy: What is the common thread?". 

Date: May 3, 2014

Location: 130 Nicholson Hall

Time: 10:00 - 11:15am

Saturday Science is an event aimed to bring high school students, teachers, and the community together to advance knowledge of many scientific areas. It is organized by the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy.  Click here for more information. 

Sophie Warny Recognized by LSU Alumni Association

Apr 28, 2014

Juan Lorenzo Featured on WWLTV

Apr 23, 2014

Congratulations James Smith!

Mar 26, 2014

New Orleans

Geology & Geophysics junior James Smith has won 2nd place in the Undergraduate category at the 2014 State of the Coast Convention for his poster titled "Patterns of sediment accumulation over decadal time scales in the Breton Sound basin." James conducts research under the guidance of Dr. Sam Bentley. The convention took place March 18-20 in New Orleans.

Congratulations James!

2014 Rockstar Poster Competition

Mar 25, 2014

Baton Rouge

The annual Rockstar Poster Competition was held on Friday March 21. Student research posters filled the Clarence Cazalot Atrium on topics ranging from Delta Evolution to Palynology to Sediment Flux. Rockstar provides student's with a formal way to present their research in a familiar setting. Students gain valuable experience discussing their research and learning more about effective communication both during the creation of the visual aspects of the poster and the discussion of the research. 

Congratulations to the 2014 winners:

Graduate Level:

1st Suraj Bajgain: "Water speciation and properties of hydrous model basalt melt at high pressure"

2nd Madison Kymes: "Palynological evalution of Oligocene and Miocene sections from King George Island, Antartica"

3rd Adam Turner: "Developing U as a paleoredox proxy, modern analogs"

Undergraduate Level:

1st James Smith: "Patterns of sediment accumulation over decadal time scales in the Brenton Sound basin"

2nd Matthew Smith: "On the amount of sediment deposited in floodplains from the Mississippi River: A case study in Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana"

Tie 3rd Ingrid Eckhoff: "Kinematics of active surface salt structures in western China: field observations and topographic analysis"

Tie 3rd Shelby Johnston: "Low-temperature history of the Tethyan Himalayan Sequence, NW Himalaya"

Thank you to judges Bill Wischusen from the Department of Biological Sciences, Barb Dutrow of the Department of Geology & Geophysics, and James Geaghan of the Department of Experimental Statistics. 

Brooks Ellwood Profiled in Earth Magazine

Mar 17, 2014

Dr. Brooks Ellwood, Robey H. Clark Professor in Geology, has been featured in the March issue of Earth. The article titled "Brooks Ellwood and the unusual applications of magnetism" captures the hunt for the grave of William "Wild Bill" Longley and how Dr. Ellwood creatively used magnetic susceptibility during the search. 

Click here to read more!

Congratulations to our fall graduates!

Doctor of Philosophy in Geology

James Michael Crane

"Effects of Stress and Water Saturation on Seismic Velocity and Attenuation in Near Surface Sediments" 

Advisor: Juan Lorenzo

Bachelor of Science:

Logan Michael Adams

George Sterling Caravella

Elizabeth Winn Ingram

Zachary Bose Kelly

Caven M. Kymes

Edward Limin Lo

Cameron Andrew McCulla

Andrew Raymond Morse

Oliver Joseph Navo

Eric Janssen Orphys

Stephen R. Osborne

Evan Joseph Roundtree

Andrew K. Webb

Craig Nicholas Zimmerman

Congratulations and good luck with your future discoveries!