John I. Garver, associate professor of geology, has
been awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's
Office of Polar Programs to continue work in the tectonic evolution of the
Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East.
This project, directed by Garver, is in association with
long-time collaborator and geologist Mark T. Brandon (Yale University).
The title is: “Collaborative Research: Cenozoic Evolution of the
The research builds on work that Garver and Brandon have
done in Kamchatka since 1993. The focus of the new project is the tectonic
evolution of Kamchatka for the last 45 million years.
Their previous work documented the timing of a terrane
collision where a far-traveled chunk of continental crust started at about
the equator and rode oceanic plates thousands of kilometers north to the
collision zone in Kamchatka. The discovery that this collision occurred in
the Eocene (about 45 million years ago) opened up theories that the
collision changed the plate tectonic configuration in the Pacific Ocean,
resulting in the formation of the Aleutian Islands. This finding is being
published in the Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
The new project builds on that idea and investigates the
post collision events that led up to the modern-day setting of the
This summer the Union-Yale research team plans a
five-week field program on remote Karaginski Island off the east coast of
Kamchatka. The Union team will include Garver and geology major Jason
Lederer '01. They will be accompanied by Russian colleagues A. Soloviev
and G. Ledneva (Institute of the Lithosphere, Moscow) as well as a Russian
geologist from the Institute of Volcanology and Petrology (Petropavolvsk-Kamchatski,