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Spatial Variability of Exhumation Along the Eastern Margin of the Rio Grande Rift

Research Info

Student: Audrey Happel, Sam Schoenmann

Past Student: Lauren Hoffman

Advisors: Lisa Tranel

The actively spreading Rio Grande rift influenced uplift and erosion and created many geologic features in Southwest North America, however the timing and progression of these processes is not well constrained in some of the smaller mountain ranges of the region. Past student, Lauren Hoffman studied two mountain ranges along the eastern margin of the rift in southern New Mexico to improve our understanding of landscape evolution related rifting. She observed erosion patterns and apatite cooling ages of bedrock ages in the Guadalupe and Sacramento Mountains. The timing of exhumation was similar to other Rio Grande Rift events in the region. Audrey Happel is continuing the investigation of tectonic influences on the geomorphology of the Guadalupe Mountains to further constrain the timing and rates of faults and erosion using cosmogenic nuclides. Sam Schoenmann is evaluating longitudinal stream profiles to assess the influence of tectonic, climatic, or rock strength properties on the shape of stream channels and slope distribution .

Hoffman Field.