Dr. Devon Orme Receives DAAD Scholarship
Dr. Devon A. Orme has received a German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD) scholarship to conduct research and learn new techniques at the University of Potsdam. The DAAD program is the largest German support organization in the field of international academic programs.
This Summer, the DAAD award will support Dr. Orme's visit to Dr. Edward Sobel's thermochronology laboratory, a world leader in the fission track dating method. Thermochronology is analytical technique widely used in the Earth Sciences to determine the timing and rates of geologic processes. Specifically, thermochronology determines the time at which a mineral cooled below a specific temperature range within Earth’s crust through tectonic or erosional processes. Fission track thermochronology is based on the accumulation of fission tracks, which are created when two nuclei recoil from one another during spontaneous fission of 238U generating a large linear damage zone. Fission tracks are annealed (i.e., shorten, segment, or disappear) at high temperatures in the Earth’s crust and retained below ~115-90°C in apatite and below ~240-180°C in zircon. As Earth Scientist's we can measure the quantity and geometry of fission tracks to determine a radiometric cooling age (i.e., the age when a rock cooled below the temperature windows described above).
Dr. Orme applies different low-temperature thermochronologic systems, such as fission track dating, to address a wide variety of geologic questions, including the timing of exhumation of mountains of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen or maximum burial temperatures in sedimentary basins. Her work at the University of Potsdam is a crucial step in learning a few new laboratory techniques that she wishes to implement in her thermochronology laboratory at MSU. In addition, she will be working to prepare age and [U] standards that her students and she will use for years to come.