"How Modern Geochronology is Transforming our Understanding of the Great Alaskan Terrane Wreck" presented by Cameron Davidson
"How Modern Geochronology is Transforming our Understanding of the Great Alaskan Terrane Wreck"
Cameron Davidson, Charles L. Denison Professor of Geology
Ever since the breakup of last supercontinent, Pangea (starting ~200 million years ago), North America has been on the move accumulating large chunks of real estate along its western margin. These fragments of continental and thickened oceanic crust, known as terranes, shared a common geologic history before they were accreted to North America and can be large (bigger than Minnesota). For the past 12 years, my research has focused on the Chugach, Prince William, and Yakutat terranes in Alaska. These terranes extend for over 2000 km and define the southern margin of Alaska from Sanak Island in the west to Baranof Island in the southeast. In this talk, I show how modern geochronology is transforming our understanding of the relationships within and between these various terranes, and why applying new tools to “settled” scientific questions is absolutely necessary to making scientific progress.