Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE/MP Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Fission-track thermochronology: Principles and Geological Applications


Dr. Karl Lang


Georgia Tech


Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 11:00:00 AM   Add to Calendar


Boggs Building, Room https://bluejeans.com/123056280/6709


Dr. Nolan Hertel


Fission track thermochronology uses the temperature dependent annealing of radiation damage in minerals to measure the cooling history of rocks in Earths shallow crust. Mineral cooling can be used to interpret rock exhumation rates over geological timescales, important considerations in many geological studies of active plate boundaries. Recent developments in the technique also allow geologists to reconstruct the exhumation history of plate boundaries from sedimentary records in unprecedented detail, opening new opportunities to test long-standing hypotheses on the relative contribution of tectonic and climatic processes to the erosion of mountains ranges and sequestration of carbon over geological timescales. In this talk I will review the principles behind geo and thermochronology, specific methods of fission track analyses, and recent applications of the technique to studying exhumation of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The talk is aimed at an audience of non geologists and I am hoping to spark cross disciplinary discussions with colleagues in the nuclear detection and engineering fields.


Dr. Lang is trained as a geologist and leads the TECHtonics group at Georgia Tech www.gatechtonics.info. His research focuses on how tectonic, climatic and surface processes conspire to shape landscapes over geological timescales. He received a BS in Geology and Economics from the College of William and Mary, a PhD from the University of Washington and had two postdoctoral fellowships in Europe supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Swedish Vetenskapsr├ądet. He has previously held academic positions at Pomona College and Queens College, City University of New York. Follow him on Twitter atiamskeptikarl.