Leyla Namazie

Paleomagnetism of the Klamath Mountains

The Klamath Mountains are one of the many “suspect terranes” that comprise the West Coast of North America. Due to the increased tectonic activity of this region, the history and paleogeography of this Western Cordillera remain enigmatic. It is largely unknown whether or not these terranes originated in place or were accreted (delivered from off coast). This project uses paleomagnetism, the study of how rocks are altered by the magnetic field, to understand the rotational and kinematic history of the Baird Formation in the Klamath Mountains. When a rock forms or cools from magma, its ferromagnetic minerals align with the earths magnetic field like a compass. This property allows us to understand the orientation of the rocks with respect to the field at the time of formation. Upon collection of samples, variations in the rocks recorded magnetic field orientation and the current field orientation are oftentimes indicative of past tectonic disturbances. The method of paleomagnetism will allow us to explore such disturbances and hopefully add more pieces to the puzzle that is the history of the Western Cordillera terranes.

Message to Sponsor

This fellowship has been a great opportunity for me to continue my research, even in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic. The funding will be able to supply resources and can be saved for potential field work once things get up an running again. I am so incredibly grateful for this chance to work with a mentor and learn more about the other side of academia. As a student intending to go to graduate school, this has been such a beneficial experience, and I will without doubt be able to apply the things I have learned throughout this year to future work.
  • Major: Geophysics
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Paul Renne