Dr. Jeff Karson
With a background in field-oriented structural geology, Jeff Karson investigates tectonic processes in a range of marine and terrestrial environments that are related to seafloor spreading processes. He uses land-based studies in ophiolites (on-land exposures of oceanic crust), continental rifts, and Iceland to investigate the details of faulting and magmatism in extensional terranes. Direct observations and sampling of cross sections of the oceanic crust exposed along major fault scarps (â€œtectonic windowsâ€) in both fast-spreading crust of the Pacific and slow-spreading crust of the Atlantic document the diverse architecture of crust created in different spreading environments. This type of information is the key to understanding tectonic processes at mid-ocean ridge spreading centers. Karson participated in 2 previous investigations of the Atlantis Massif and Lost City Vent Site where he and his students have focused on the structure and geologic history of the basement rocks that host this unusual vent site.