Major: Geology and Mathematics
Academic Affiliation: Lamar University
Haley divides her time between raising her three children and being a full-time student. She is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Geology, as well as in Mathematics, and plans to study Geophysics in graduate school. Even as a child, Haley wanted to grow up to become a scientist; she became interested in geology through the introductory courses she took during her earlier college years.
2018- Cool Rocks: an Apatite (U-Th)/He Study of the Trans-Hudson Orogen’s Phanerozoic Thermal History
The Trans-Hudson Orogen (THO) in Canada is the most extensively preserved Proterozoic orogenic belt on earth, but much of its post-1.7 Ga history after it became part of the larger Canadian shield remains unknown. Understanding this cryptic history will offer insight into tectonic and geodynamic effects in continental interiors far from plate boundaries. We place important new constraints on the post-orogenic erosional and burial history of the THO using apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) thermochronology. Single-grain AHe dates from 6 samples in the THO and western Superior Province range from 165 23 to 658 59 Ma. When viewed along a northeast trending 730 km transect, sample locations exhibit an increase in mean AHe date to the northeast from 379 158 to 513 44, then a slight decrease to 439 26 Ma. These data imply cooling, likely via exhumation, from Cambrian through Silurian time in most of the eastern THO. Date-eU patterns suggest that easternmost samples did not experience slow cooling or partial resetting, while increased date dispersion and younger dates in western samples leave open the possibility of a later reheating event at these locations. Future thermal modeling work will utilize other thermochronologic data and geologic constraints from nearby basins to further constrain the THO’s Phanerozoic thermal history and will contribute to deciphering the broader history and causes of Canadian Shield burial and erosion during the Phanerozoic.
2019- Estimation of Silica, Carbonate and Other Clay Mineral Content by FTIR Spectroscopy in Mud-Rich Sediments and its Implications for Sediment Provenance Analysis
Fine-grained particles may yield crucial insights in reconstructing the depositional processes, provenance, and paleogeography of mud-rich settings. This study utilizes Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and sandstone petrography to identify minerals in mud-sized clast and determine the relative abundance of quartz, carbonates, feldspar, and clay minerals in mud-rich conglomerates and sandstones from the Cordilleran foreland basin in western USA. With this project, we aim to establish a methodology on fine-grained sediment identification and quantification using FTIR as well as establish its limitations on provenance and paleogeographic reconstructions. The preliminary FTIR and sandstone petrographic results from upper Campanian offshore and shallow marine samples, in the Rock Springs and north of the Uinta Mountains, Wyoming, reveal the presence of felsic minerals and arkosic sands, indicating sediment sourcing from the Uinta basement uplift and recycled orogenic sediments from the Sevier Fold and Thrust belt. The combination of both techniques improved mineral identification and quantification, which, to an extent, was proven useful in refining sediment composition, and provenance of upper Campanian strata in the Cordilleran foreland basin.