A major effort in the geological sciences is directed toward better understanding the processes within the mantle of the earth that cause lithosphere plates and their crustal rocks to evolve thermally and chemically through space and time. We have studied various aspects of the geologic evolution of the Brooks Range, Alaska, including deformation, volcanism, paleomagnetic history, and land surface evolution, to obtain information that might better constrain various models of lithosphere dynamics and sub-lithosphere processes. We have integrated a variety of analytical techniques to study time- space aspects of deformation, generation and spatial evolution of igneous rocks, and timing and rates of uplift and subsidence during and following deformation. These techniques included fission track, 40Ar/39Ar, stable-isotope and major-and trace-element analyses, cross- section and surface modeling, field mapping, paleomagnetic analyses, and analyses of various remotely sensed data. Projects were funded by the Earth Science and Applications Division of NASA and as a continuation of an earlier NASA-supported project on the utilization of Landsat technology.
We have studied oxide and metallic mineral assemblages, and carbides that are associated with mafic and ultramafic rocks, using optical, electron-beam, and isotopic analyses. Artificial analogs of some of these minerals, and mineral assemblages, are being studied at high temperatures and pressures in order to assess the origins of the various natural materials.
Our current research interest is directed toward rare rocks and minerals that are associated with obducted ophiolites. The following is a brief account of our continuing work on josephinite and OsIrRu metal assemblages.