Magmatic Flare-ups in Cordilleran Orogenic Systems

August 3rd (Tuesday), 6 p.m., Via Zoom (online) and Live at St. John’s Church Hansen Hall– Open to Public, masks strongly encouraged. Presentation: “Magmatic flare-ups in Cordilleran orogenic systems”, Presented by Jay Chapman, University of Wyoming

How well do we understand these Western US states that we live in (Wyoming included!)? Professor Jay Chapman and students have been working to unravel and explain evidence of major igneous and volcanic events across the West. 

Analysis of the remnants of ancient volcanic arcs (e.g., Sierra Nevada Mountains) reveals that magmatic activity is punctuated by periods of extreme magma production, separated by relatively quiescent lulls on time scales of 10s of millions of years.  What causes the dramatic changes in magma generation is one of the great mysteries in the tectonics community.  A range of hypotheses have been proposed to try to explain the “pulse” of these volcanic arcs, including that faulting in the retroarc thrust belt (e.g., western Wyoming) could cause the flare ups.  Join University of Wyoming geology professor Jay Chapman as he explores & offers possible explanations for this phenomenon.