My research uses uranium and lead isotopes to put absolute dates on rocks, which can then be coupled with chemistry to explain how tectonic processes, like mountain building or formation of volcanic island arcs, occur. Research like mine is important because understanding the timing of events in Earth’s history is vital for predicting future events. Dating chondrites from space has told us that our solar system is 4.6 billion years old and has defined the elemental make up of our planet. Studying tectonic processes in Earth’s history has helped us understand how the continents and oceans formed, where ore deposits and other natural resources form, and how to predict natural geologic hazards. I am specifically studying the timing and geometry of subduction in Antarctica around 500 million years ago to give insight on a geologically under-sampled and poorly understood continent.
Please join me in championing this cause to help support future generations of scientists by donating at my campaign page: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/science-a-thon-2018/elizabetherickson11/ You can also follow my “Day of Science” on Instagram @schemerthedreamer
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