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Category : Students, Foundation

Posted : Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Edited By : Sean Brown
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Student Science Spotlight: October 2021 Edition

Rebekah Grmela

Welcome back to this month's Science Student Spotlights! Throughout the year, we'll be featuring the science and work of some of our best and brightest SEPM Student Members, including some of our SEPM Foundation Research Grant awardees.

Check out some of this month's featured student work:


Name: Lauren Bunce
School: Binghamton University
Research Statement: What Drives Formation of Modern Spring Deposits at the Great Salt Lake?
Summary: Regional tectonics at Great Salt Lake creates focused spring discharge of varying water compositions along the margins of the lake. It is unknown exactly how these springs affect mineral saturation states within the surrounding environments. Investigating the mechanisms that drive mineral precipitation associated with modern Great Salt Lake springs will lead to a better understanding of how and under what hydroclimatic conditions ancient lacustrine spring deposits.

Name: Alethea Kapolas
School: University of Iowa
Research Statement: Comparison of geochronologic and geochemical provenance proxies in the Cook Inlet Basin, south central Alaska
Summary: My research compares provenance models and sediment dispersal models based on geochronologic and geochemical data in the Cook Inlet Basin of south-central Alaska during Neogene time. Previous detrital zircon ages and hafnium isotope analyses has already been completed. I am try to figure out if the same signatures are picked up in the geochemical analyses, if some are missing, and what that means for sedimentary geochemical proxies and their usefulness.

Name: David Bruce
School: Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Research Statement: Quantifying Coseismic Land-level Change Along the Cascadia Subduction Zone in Central Oregon

Summary: My research focuses on quantifying vertical land deformation from past subduction zone earthquakes. I use field methods of coring and stratigraphic correlation, to look for sharp lithologic changes indicative of past subduction zone events. I then examine microfossils (diatoms), on either side of the lithologic contacts, to quantify how much vertical movement would have taken place across those sharp contacts. 

Name: James Metz
School: Old Dominion University
Research Statement: Sediment Budget and Dynamics in aForested Sub-Basin of the Sundarbans National Forest, Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Bangladesh

Summary: My research focuses on sediment dynamics on the mangrove shelf, that portion of the forest above the main channel and subject to tidal inundation. The sediment flux maintains the long term stability of the mangroves. I will quantify the sediment flux in the mangrove shelf for 20 km2 of the Sundarbans near Hiron Point on a lower distributary channel. Currently, we think there is enough sediment influx to counter effective sea level rise. However, delta sedimentation is complex, considering numerous simultaneous variables such as fluctuating sedimentation rates, tidal cycles, channel development, subsidence, and sea level rise, among others. This project in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta provides an opportunity to study a tide-dominated deltaic system in a relatively intact natural environment. Furthermore, this study is larger in scale and scope than previous studies in the area, which may elucidate intra-delta variability of sedimentation rates and processes, especially within the fringing and transitional zones of the mangrove platform. Understanding the spatial and temporal variability of sedimentation within this delta will provide better land-use planning and help interpret similar depositional environments in the geologic record. 

Name: Mariah Romero
School: Montana State University
Research Statement: Evaluating the thermal history ofCretaceousstrata from the Great Valley Forearc basin, California using detrital low-temperature thermochronology

Summary: Mariah's research focuses on the initiation and development of the Mesozoic Sacramento sedimentary basin in northern California.


Want to learn more about our research grant awardees? Learn more here.

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