Head of the Research Group

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Dr. Eva Enkelmann

My research focus is on the evolution of mountain belts over a range of length scale from hundreds to tens of kilometers. I am especially interested in understanding the evolution of landscapes that result from the interaction of tectonic forces and surface processes.

The main methods I use are low-temperature dating techniques such as fission-track analysis and U-Th/He dating applied to bedrock and sediments to quantify the thermal history of Earth's upper crust. These data are combined with other geo- and thermochronology data, structural measurements, geomorphology, sedimentology, geophysical data, and numerical modeling. I have worked on research projects located in India, central China, Myanmar, Argentina, western US, Alaska and the Canadian Cordillera. Currently I have active research projects in the Northern Canadian Cordillera (NWT and Yukon) and in the Southern Canadian Cordillera.

Email: eva.enkelmann@ucalgary.ca

Google Scholar, Website

Post-Doctoral Researchers

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Dr. Tobias Stephan

Dr. Stephan received a DFG (German Research Foundation) research fellowship and is joining our group for 2 years, starting December 2020. Tobias is interested in developing a statistical approach to analyze large paired geo-thermochronological datasets. He has also extensive experience in reconstructing the structural evolution of collisional orogens.

Email: Tobias.Stephan@ucalgary.ca

Google Scholar

Current Graduate Students

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Tais Fontes Pinto

Tais is joining us from Brazil, where she has conducted apatite fission track and U-Th/He dating on carbonatite rocks from a large shear zone for her Master study. Her arrival in Calgary has been delayed due to the pandemic. This will be working on the sedimentary basin in the southwestern portion of the NWT. This research is in collaboration with the Geological Survey of the NWT. 

Email: tais.fontespinto@ucalgary.ca

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Joel Padgett

Joel just finished his undergraduate degree at Augustana College in the US and will join our research group in fall 2021. He will investigate the exhumation history of southwestern Yukon and the kinematics of several poorly exposed faults. He will use a variety of thermochronomeric methods towards this goal. This project is funded through a collaboration with the Yukon Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada. 

Email: joel.padgett@ucalgary.ca

Undergraduate Students

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Alyson MacDougall (Undergraduate Thesis)

Alyson already conducted mineral separation and will conduct apatite U-Th/He dating on rock samples collected from the Intermontane belt in central BC. She will be working closely together with graduate student Kade Damant. 

Email: alyson.macdougall@ucalgary.ca

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Scott Tiede (Undergraduate thesis)

Scott is conducting a summer research project that investigates the geomorphology and upper crustal processes of the Intermontain belt of the Southern Canadian Cordillera. Scott received an NSERC undergraduate student research award.

Email:  scott.tiede@ucalgary.ca

Former Students and Group Members

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Dr. William Matthews

Dr. Matthews is an expert in zircon U-Pb dating and (U-Th-Sm)/He dating. His research interests are in methodological developments as well as the application of geo- and thermochronology to various geologic questions. Will has worked in many places included Canada, Iraq, Madagascar, the western U.S. and particularly in the southwestern Canadian Cordillera. 

Will is now Adjunct Assistant Professor and continues to be involved in geo- and thermochronological research through ongoing student-lead research.

Email: wamatthe@ucalgary.ca

Google Scholar


Kade Damant wearing a sweater standing in front of aspen or silver birch trees

Kade Damant

Kade investigated exhumation across the Columbia River Fault near Revelstoke for his undergraduate thesis. For his graduate research he studied the erosional evolution of the Intermontain belt in southern British Columbia.

Email: kade.damant@ucalgary.ca


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Dr. Scott Jess

Dr. Jess has expertise in apatite fission track and (U-Th-Sm)/He dating and their application to a variety of tectonic settings. Previous work has included the topographic evolution of West Greenland and Baffin Island, as well as snowball earth phenomena.

Email: scott.jess@ucalgary.ca 

Website, Google Scholar

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Gabby Mackinnon (Undergraduate research project)

Gabby work on samples from the southwestern Northwest Territories. She separated bedrock samples from the Canadian Shield and borehole samples that included both, basement rocks and Cambrian basin strata. This project is in collaboration with the NWT Geologic Survey.

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Andreas Aebersold (B.Sc. 2021)

Andreas investigated the exhumation history of the Death Valley shear zone. He used apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He dating and thermal history modeling to investigate spatial trends in the thermal history. This project was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Ghislain Trullenque and colleague's from Uni LaSalle.

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Kelley Fraser (M.Sc. 2020)

Kelley joined the group in summer 2018. In her research project, Kelley aimed to quantify the Cenozoic exhumation along and across the central Rocky Mountain Trench. She used apatite fission track and U-Th/He dating on bedrock samples she collected in the Valemount and McBride area (British Columbia) in the southern Canadian Cordillera. Kelley just moved back home to North Carolina and is currently applying for jobs.

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Ryan McKay (M.Sc. 2020)

Ryan  joined the group in summer 2018 where we went to the Richardson Mountains in the NWT for sampling. Ryan investigated the exhumation history at the northeastern margin of the Canadian Cordillera. This project was in collaboration with Thomas Hadlari from the Geological Survey of Canada. The manuscript highlighting Ryan's research has been published in McKay et al., 2021 (Tectonics). Ryan is now working for Coeur Mining at the Silvertip Mine, a Ag-Pb-Zn mine in northernmost BC. The Canadian Tectonics Group awarded Ryan with the Jack Henderson Award for. the best MSc thesis of 2020.

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Molly Csak (B.Sc. 2020)

Molly conducted a summer research project that investigates the upper crustal cooling history of the Southern Canadian Cordillera. She reviewed and compiled published low-temperature thermochronology data that she integrated in ArcGIS. Molly received an NSERC undergraduate student research award.

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Dr. Jenny Arkle (Ph.D. 2019)

Jenny investigated the tectonic-climate-surface process interactions of Trinidad and Tobago. She used geomorphic analyses (GIS) and traditional field mapping in tandem with a variety of dating tools, such as low-temperature thermochronology, cosmogenic, and optically stimulated luminescence dating.  Jenny is now a faculty member at Augustana College and the Program Manager for the Upper Mississippi Center. Parts of her thesis have been published in Arkle et al., 2017 Geomorphology and Arkle et al., 2021 Tectonics.

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Ryan Grieco (B.Sc. 2019)

Ryan investigated the exhumation history of the Rocky Mountain Trench in the Valemount, B.C. area.. Ryan  used apatite U-Th/He analysis  and temperature-time path modeling to quantify timing, rates and amounts of exhumation across the main structure of the trench. Ryan presented his results at the GeoREX conference in April 2019, where he received the best poster award. Ryan is now employed as a Geophysicist at Canadian Natural Resources Limited in Calgary.

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Nathaniel Bootes (M.Sc. 2018)

Nate investigated the Late Miocene to Pleistocene borehole material from the Yakutat shelf in Southeast Alaska. The primary goal of the project was to investigate changes in exhumation rates in the adjacent St. Elias Mountains throughout the past using detrital zircon fission track and U-Pb dating. This project was funded by the ACS – PRF and conducted in collaboration with Dr. Richard Lease (USGS). Nate's thesis was published in Bootes et al., 2019 Tectonics. Nate followed his girlfriend and moved to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where he works for Toyota.

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Sedighe Khodaparast (Ph.D. 2019)

Sedighe is a visiting PhD student from the Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran (Iran). In her thesis research she is investigating the spatial and temporal evolution of the 160 km long Kushk-e-Nosrat strike-slip fault located in central Iran. The structural dataset has been published in Khodaparast et al., 2020 Journal of Geodynamic

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Sonia Sanchez Lohff (M.Sc. 2018)

Sonia is working on the sedimentary record of the Cook Inlet forearc basin in southern Alaska. She uses detrital zircon fission track and U-Pb dating to investigate how varying subduction styles (spreading-ridge subduction, oceanic plateau) affected southern Alaska since the Jurassic time.  This project was funded by the NSF and in conducted in collaboration with Dr. Emily Finzel (University of Iowa). Sonia's reserch results were published in Enkelmann, Sanchez Lohff, Finzel, E. 2019. GSA Bulletin
Sonia is now employed at FracGeo in Houston, TX

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Anna Schartman (B.Sc. 2018)

Anna's research project centers on the quantification of the timing and spatial pattern of rock exhumation at the northern end of the Fairweather Fault located in  the Yakutat Bay area  in Southeast Alaska. Her results are now published in Schartman et al., 2019 (Lithosphere). Anna is now a PhD student at the Ocean Science Department at UC Santa Cruz working in the group of Dr. Polissar to study paleovegetation and paleo climate changes since the Miocene.

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Catherine Dunn (M.Sc. 2016)

Katie has been working on glacio-marine sediment samples obtained from 5 boreholes that have been drilled in 2013 by the IODP Expedition 341. She used detrital zircon fission track and U-Pb dating (double-dating) to investigate the sediment provenance and routing from the St. Elias Mountain to the shelf and the deep sea, as well as the exhumation history of the source region. Catherine published her research in Dunn et al., 2017, JGR-ES. Katie is now the separation lab manager at the Department of Geological Sciences at Stanford University.

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Sarah Falkowski (Ph.D. 2016)

Sarah studied the spatial and temporal changes in rock exhumation at the St. Elias syntaxis at the active Yakutat–North American collision zone, SE Alaska/SW Yukon. She used multiple geo- and thermochronologic methods to analyze glacial detrital material of sand and cobble size. Sarah's work has been published in Falkowski et al., 2014 (Tectonics)2016 (Tectonics)Falkowski & Enkelmann, 2016 (Lithosphere)Enkelmann et al., 2017 (EPSL). Sarah is now a research scientist at the University of Tuebingen working with Todd Ehlers.

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Adam Piestrzeniewicz (M.Sc. 2015)

Adam investigated the temporal and spatial pattern of rock exhumation in the St. Elias syntaxis and north of it, located in the Kluane National Park (Yukon, Canada). He conducted apatite fission-track analysis and combined the data with zircon fission-track, and apatite and zircon U-Th/He data from the same sample. Adam's research has been published in Enkelmann, E., Piestrzeniewicz, A., Falkowski, S. et al., 2017 (EPSL). Adam moved back to southern California and is a staff geologist at Haley & Aldrich (Environmental and Geotechnical Consulting)

David Grabowski (M.Sc. 2012)

David investigated cobbles from the Seward-Malaspina Glacier system to identify lithologies that have been exhumed extremely rapidly underneath the ice that covers the St. Elias Mountains. He combined field mapping, petrology on thin section and zircon U-Th/He dating to characterize varying exhumation sources. David published his thesis research in Grabowski et al., 2013 (JGR-ES). Since graduation David is a full time staff geologist at Walter & Partner GbR in Tauberbischofsheim (Germany).

Gabriel Merli (Diploma 2014)

Gabriel investigated the cooling record of detrital apatite grains that were deposited in the Eocene Chumstick Basin in Washington State (USA). Gabriel conducted apatite U-Th/He dating and thermal history modeling to reveal the varying thermal history of the basin and timing of basin inversion. His result together with apatite fission track analysis are published in Enkelmann, Ehlers, Merli, Methner 2015 (Tectonics). Gabriel is now employed as a engineering and field geologist at Henke and Partner GmbH.