Eric Bolton, 2015, Geosciences

This summer I did field work in Australia with two graduate students in the Geosciences Department at Princeton University. The topics of their research were different, but were focused on the same region in Western Australia: the Pilbara Craton. One goal of our research was to use paleomagnetism and geochronology to retrace the geographical location and movement of the craton through study of the 2.7 Ga. Fortescue formation. The other goal was to use geochronology to understand the history and internal structure of the Muccan and Mount Edgar granite domes within the craton. We camped, hiked and drove around the Pilbaran wilderness to find and collect rock samples. The paleomagnetism research involved drilling to collect core samples of basalts, and collecting sediment samples for geochronology. The granite dome research involved studying deformation of granites in different parts of the domes and collecting block samples for geochronology. I learned a lot about mineralogy, petrology and structural geology, plus I learned many important life skills over the course of the summer. As a result of this internship, I plan to work on thermal diffusivity models to better understand the cooling history of the Pilbara granite domes for my senior independent work.