solid earth

solid-earth research

geology, geophysics, and geochemistry

solid earth scene

what we do

Those of us in Lehigh University's solid-Earth group work to understand the evolution and dynamics of our planet. Using a blend of field and laboratory-based studies, we aim to understand geological processes operating in the lithosphere and on the earth's surface. We are especially interested in coupled systems linking deep earth and surface processes.  Using approaches in seismology, paleomagnetism, geochemistry, structural geology, geomorphology, and geochronology, our research takes us to field sites across North America and the world.

Our current research includes studies of mountain building and crustal evolution, epeirogenesis and intraplate processes, faulting and deformation, landscape evolution, and mass flux and geochemical cycling in convergent margin systems. To learn more, visit the faculty/staff and collaborative web pages listed on this page.

If you're interested in graduate work at Lehigh, start here for links to the research we do, and then learn more about our graduate curriculum and our admissions procedures. More than anything, we encourage you to contact the person or persons you're interested in working with.

Faculty & staff


Some recent publications by group members

Bebout, G. E., 2013. 4.20. Chemical and isotopic cycling in subduction zones. Invited chapter in Rudnick, R. L., ed., 2nd Ed. Volume 3, Treatise on Geochemistry: The Crust, Elsevier, pp. 703-747.

Ferraris, F., Firpo, M., and Pazzaglia, F. J., 2012, DEM analyses and morphotectonic interpretation: the Plio-Quaternary evolution of the eastern Ligurian Alps, Italy: Geomorphology, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.01.009.

Genareau, K., G. Mulukutla, A. Proussevitch and D. Sahagian, 2012, Sizing up the bubbles that result in very fine ash production during explosive volcanic eruptions, Geophys. Res. Lett,. 39, DOI: 10.1029/2012GL052471.

Gunderson, K. L., Anastasio, D. J., Kodama, K. P., and Pazzaglia, F. J., 2012, Rock-magnetic cyclostratigraphy for the late Pleistocene Stirone section, northern Apennine mountain front, Italy in Jovane, L., Housen, B., Herrero-Berrera, E., and Hinnov, L., eds., Temporal variation of geological processes revealed by magnetic methods: Geological Society of London, doi: 10.1144/SP373.8.

Kodama, K.P., 2012. Paleomagnetism of Sedimentary Rocks: Process and Interpretation, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 157 pp.

Koons, P.O., Zeitler, P.K., Hallet, B., 2013. 5.14 Tectonic aneurysms and mountain building. In: Shroder, J. (Editor in Chief), Treatise on Geomorphology. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, vol. 5, pp. 318-349, doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374739-6.00094-4.

McKeon, R.E., Zeitler, P.K., Pazzaglia, F.J., Idleman, B.D., and Enkelmann, E., 2014. Decay of an old orogen: Inferences about Appalachian landscape evolution from low-temperature thermochronology. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 126, 31-46 , first published on November 6, 2013, doi:10.1130/B30808.1.

Palya, A. P., Buick, I. S., and Bebout, G. E., 2010, Storage and mobility of nitrogen in the continental crust: Evidence from partially melted metasedimentary rocks, Mt. Stafford, Australia, Chemical Geology, doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.12.009.

Proussevitch, A. Mulukutla, G. and Sahagian, D. 2011, A New 3D Method of Measuring Bubble Size Distributions From Vesicle Fragments Preserved On Surfaces Of Volcanic Ash Particles Geosphere; February 2011; v. 7; no. 1; p. 1–8; doi: 10.1130/GES00559.1

Schmidt, J.L., Zeitler, P.K., Pazzaglia, F.J., Tremblay, M.M., Shuster, D.L., and Fox, M., 2015. Knickpoint evolution on the Yarlung River: Evidence for late Cenozoic uplift of the southeastern Tibetan plateau margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters,

Sol, S., Meltzer, A., Burgmann, R., Van der Hilst, R.D., King, B., Chen, Z., Koons, P., Lev, E., Liu, Y.P., Zeitler, P.K., Yuping, L., Zhang, X., Zhang, J., and Zurek, B., 2007. Geodynamics of the southeastern Tibetan plateau from seismic anisotropy and geodesy. Geology, 35, 563-566.

Wilson, L. F., Pazzaglia, F. J., and Anastasio, D. J., 2009. A fluvial record of active fault-propagation folding, Salsomaggiore anticline, northern Apennines, Italy: Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, doi:10.1029/2008JB005984.

Wolin, E., Stein, S., Pazzaglia, F. J., Meltzer, A.S., Kafka, A., and Berti, C., 2012, Mineral, Virginia earthquake illustrates seismicity of a passive-aggressive margin, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L02305, doi:10.1029/2011GL050310.

Zeitler, P.K., Meltzer, A.S., Brown, L., Kidd, W.S.F., Lim, C., and Enkelmann, E., 2014. Tectonics and topographic evolution of Namche Barwa and the easternmost Lhasa Block, in Nie, J., Hoke, G.D., and Horton, B., eds., Towards an improved understanding of uplift mechanisms and the elevation history of the Tibetan Plateau. Geological Society of America Special Paper, v. 507, doi: 10.1130/2014.2507(02).

Zeitler, P.K., Koons, P.O., Hallet, B., and Meltzer, A.S., 2015. Comment on “Tectonic control of Yarlung Tsangpo Gorge revealed by a buried canyon in Southern Tibet.” Science, 349(6250):799, doi:10.1126/science.aaa9380.

Recent solid-Earth theses

Helen Malenda (M.S.). 2015. New Quaternary geochronometric constraints on river incision in the Virginia Piedmont: Relative contributions of climate, base-level fall, knickpoint retreat, and active tectonics. (advisor: Pazzaglia).

Daniel Minguez (Ph.D.). 2015. Chronostratigraphic applications of paleomagnetism and rock magnetic cyclostratigraphy: Case studies from the Ediacaran and Devonian Periods. (advisor: Kodama).

Stephanie Souza (M.S.). 2015. Upper mantle structure beneath the Hangay Dome, central Mongolia and implications for high topography and magmatism. (advisor: Meltzer).

Johanna Blake (Ph.D.). 2014. Geologic, tectonic, and geochemical signatures leading to arsenic in groundwater in the Gettysburg Basin. (advisor: Peters).

Jennie Cook-Kollars (M.S.). 2013. Carbon retention in deeply subducted sedimentary rocks: Evidence from HP/UHP metamorphic suites in the Italian Alps. (advisor: Bebout).

Kellen Gunderson (Ph.D.). 2013. Spatial and temporal variability of deformation in the Northern Apennines, Italy. (advisor: Anastasio).

Ryan McKeon (Ph.D.). 2012. Apatite U-Th/He thermochronometry in slowly eroding landscapes: Addressing age dispersion to understand Appalachian topographic development. (advisors: Pazzaglia, Zeitler).

Allison Teletzke (M.S.). 2012. Unsteady deformation of the Spanish Pyrenean mountain front. (advisor: Anastasio).

Kristen Lazzeri (M.S.). 2012. Storage of nitrogen in silicate minerals and glasses. (advisor: Bebout).

Tsering Dhundup (M.S.). 2012. Morpho-tectonic analysis of the Tsona-Chusum Rift, Tibet. (advisor: Meltzer).

Zachary Spahn (M.S.). 2011. Resolving the Latemar Controversy: A new magnetostratigraphy at the Latemar correlated section of Rio Sacuz. (advisor: Kodama).

Lauren Anderson (M.S.) 2010. Late Archean Subaqueous Volcanic Eruption, Hydrothermal Alteration, and Microbial Colonization: Evidence from the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. (advisor: Bebout).

Dario Bilardello (Ph.D.) 2009. A new technique for measuring the magnetic fabric of hematite-bearing sedimentary rocks, hf-AIR: Inclination correction case studies from carboniferous red beds from the maritime provinces of Canada. (advisor: Kodama).

Annie Palya (M.S.) 2009. Storage and mobility of organic nitrogen and carbon in the continental crust: evidence from partially melted metasedimentary rocks, Mt. Stafford, Australia. (advisor: Bebout).

Joanna Troy (M.S.) 2008. Synsedimentary tectonic strain and fold kinematics recorded by AMS in Pyrenean Flysch. (advisor: Anastasio).

Karl Wegmann (Ph.D) 2008. Tectonic geomorphology above Mediterranean subduction zones: northeastern Apennines of Italy and Crete, Greece. (advisor: Pazzaglia).

Brian Zurek (Ph.D.) 2008. The evolution and modification of continental lithosphere dynamics of the 'Indentor Corners' and imaging the llithosphere across the eastern syntaxis of Tibet. (advisor: Meltzer).

Christina Majerowicz (M.S.) 2007. Quaternary rupture history of the Lima Reservoir fault, SW Montana. (advisor: Anastasio).

Luke Wilson (M.S.) 2007. A fluvial record of active fault-propagation folding, Salsomaggiore anticline, northern Apennines, Italy. (advisor: Anastasio).

solid earth scene
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Larger projects

Current Students

  • Lenny Ancuta, Ph.D., geochemistry, epeirogeny, geochronology (advisor: Zeitler)
  • James Carrigan, Ph.D., sedimentation and tectonics (advisor: Anastasio)
  • Zhongxiong Cui, Ph.D., seismology (advisor: Meltzer)
  • Zheng Gong, M.S., paleomagnetism (advisor: Kodama)
  • Katie Jaeckel, M.S., stable-isotope geochemistry (advisor: Bebout)
  • Darwin Janes, M.S., thermochronology (advisor: Zeitler)
  • Kalin McDanell, Ph.D., thermochronology, geodynamics of cratons (advisor: Zeitler)
  • Matt McGavick, M.S., landscape evolution (advisor: Pazzaglia)
  • Jennifer Schmidt, Ph.D., tectonics, thermochronology, landscape evolution (advisor: Zeitler)
  • Lillian Soto-Cordero, Ph.D., seismology (advisor: Meltzer)
  • Janelle Thumma, M.S., thermochronology and active tectonics (advisor: Zeitler)

We Work With...

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