Delores M. Robinson

Professor|Graduate Program Director

  • dmr@ua.edu
  • (205) 348-4034
  • 2015 Bevill

Education

BS, Guilford College, 1994

MS, Vanderbilt University, 1997

PhD, University of Arizona, 2001

Courses Taught

TEACHING
•Comparative Structural Geology (Graduate. GEO 565)
•Global Tectonics (Graduate. GEO 583)
•Graduate Writing “Communicating Geology” (GEO525)
•The Dynamic Earth (GEO 101)
•Field Camp (GEO 496)

Research Interests

NEWS

OPEN POSITION FOR A PHD STUDENT BEGINNING FALL 2018

Dr. Delores Robinson in the Department of Geological Sciences invites applications from prospective PhD students interested in research in the Himalayan thrust belt of Pakistan. Priority will be given to prospective students with minority status in STEM, particularly female students. The project is funded by USAID and the National Academy of Sciences. Contact Dr. Robinson at dmr@ua.edu. See Research section of this website. Apply at http://graduate.ua.edu with review of applications for Fall 2018 admission beginning January 15, 2018.

 

The 2017-2018 academic year has begun. Our group has 4 graduate students plus graduated members are still publishing papers.

-Will Graduated!  He has accepted a position as a Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama.

-Claire completed field work in Nepal from April-May 2017

-Gourab completed field work in Ladakh in May-June 2017

-Claire, Dido, and Gourab will present at AGU in New Orleans in December 2017.

-Caleb graduated December 2016, Lexie graduated in May 2017 and Lee graduated in August 2017.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Somiddho (Dido) Bosu, 4th year Ph.D. He is working on revisions to his first paper.

Gourab Bhattacharya, 4th year Ph.D. He is working on revisions to his first paper and writing his second.

Liz Olree, 3rd year M.S. She is working on thrust belt kinematics in central Nepal. Liz started a Ph.D. at Washington University St. Louis

Claire Battistella, 2nd year M.S. She is working on thrust belt kinematics in far western Nepal and diligently separating zircons and apatites.

 

PAST STUDENTS

Marty Gates, M.S. Fall 2006, “Structure of the Wills Valley Anticline in the Vicinity of Mentone, Alabama”, employed at U.S. Corps of Engineers

Ryan Bailey, M.S. Fall 2007, ”Seismic Interpretation and Structural Restoration of a Seismic Profile through the Southern Appalachian Thrust belt under Gulf Coastal Plain Sediments”€, employed and a manager at Anadarko Oil Company

Rachael Czechowskyj, M.S. Fall 2007, “Kinematic Reconstruction of the Sevier Thrust Belt using the Synorogenic Beverhead Group, Southwest Montana”, employed at Murphy Oil Company

Subodha Khanal, M.S. Fall 2009, “Upper Crustal Shortening and Forward Modeling of the Himalayan Fold-Thrust Belt along the Budhi-Gandaki River, Central Nepal”, employed at Georgia Department of Transportation

Lance Wilson, M.S. Fall 2011, “Basement Architecture and Tectonic Evolution of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico”, employed at Marathon Oil Company

Bryan Hunt, M.S. Spring 2013, “Regional Norphlet Facies Correlation, Analysis and Implications for Paleostructure and Provenance, Eastern Gulf of Mexico” employed at Sandridge Oil Company

Subodha Khanal, Ph.D. December 2014 “Structural and Kinematic Evolution of the Himalayan thrust belt, Central Nepal” employed at Georgia Department of Transportation

Subho Mandal, Ph.D. December 2014 “Strucural, Kinematic and Geochronologic Evolution of the Himalayan fold-thrust belt in Kumaum, Uttaranchal, Northwest India” employed at Core Labs

Craig Cato, M.S. December 2014 “Seismic Interpretation and Structural Analysis of teh Alleghanian fold-thrust belt in Central Alabama” employed at Alabama Geologic Survey

Ian Hunter, M.S. December 2014 “Origin and Development of the Apalachicola Basin”

Andrea Gregg, M.S. December 2014 “Tectonic Evolution of the West Florida Basin, Eastern Gulf of Mexico”

Caleb Essex M.S. December 2016 “Regional Correlation of facies within the Haynesville Formation from Onshore Alabama: Analysis and implications for provenance and paleostructure”, employed at Selmen and Associates, Midland, TX

Lexie Taggart, M.S. May 2017, “No Triassic structural control of the formation of the Middle Ground Arch, Eastern Gulf of Mexico” employed at Abraxas, San Antonio, TX

Lee Drago, M.S. August 2017, “Comparison of Crude Oils Found in the Mississippi Reservoir Rock and Potential Source Rocks in the Black Warrior Basin, Southeastern United States” employed at SynTerra Corporation, Greenville, SC

Will Jackson, Ph.D. August 2017, “Nonmarine Stratigraphic Successions in the Yidun Terrane: Insights into Mesozoic through Early Cenozoic Deformation and Deposition in East Tibet” now an Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama

DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES (2017-2018)

Graduate Program Director and Chair of the Graduate Program Committee

Lab Coordinator and Supervisor– All Dynamic Earth Labs (14-16 TAs)

Field Camp Committee

Assessment Committee

Tenure, Promotion, and Retention Committee

2015-2017 PUBLICATIONS– Papers & Presentations (see C.V. for full publication list)

2016 Essex, C.W., Robinson, D.M., and Weislogel, A.L.,  Regional Correlation of Lithofacies within the Haynesville Formation from onshore Alabama: Analysis and Implications for Provenance and Paleostructure, in Lowery, C.M, Snedden, J.W., and Rosen, N.C, eds. Mesozoic of the Gulf Rim and Beyond: New Progress in Science and Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico Basin, GCSSEPM Special Volume, p. 309-343.

2016 Weislogel, A.L., Wiley, K.S., Bowman, S., and Robinson, D.M., Triassic-Jurassic Provenance Signatures in the Nascent Eastern Gulf of Mexico Region from Detrital Zircon Geochronology, in Lowery, C.M, Snedden, J.W., and Rosen, N.C, eds. Mesozoic of the Gulf Rim and Beyond: New Progress in Science and Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico Basin, GCSSEPM Special Volume, p. 252-270.

2016 Hunt, B., Weislogel, A.L., and Ewing, R.C., Sediment Source Regions and Paleotransport of the Late Jurassic Norphlet Formation, Eastern Gulf of Mexico, published online November 2016, AAPG Bulletin, doi: 10.1306/10171615156.

2016 Mandal, S., Robinson, D.M., Kohn, M.J., Khanal, S., Das, O., and Bose, S., Zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotopes of the Askot klippe, Kumaun, northwest India: Implications for Paleoproterozoic tectonics, basin evolution and associated metallogeny of the northern Indian cratonic margin, Tectonics, accepted manuscript online March 11, doi: 10.1002/2015TC004064.

2015 Weislogel, A.L., Hunt, B.*, Lisi, A., Lovell, T., and Robinson, D.M., Detrital zircon provenance of the eastern Gulf of Mexico subsurface: Constraints on Late Jurassic paleogeography and sediment dispersal of North America, in Anderson, T.H., Didenko, A.N., Johnson, C.L., Khanchuk, A.I., and MacDonald, J.H. Jr., eds., Late Jurassic Margin of Laurasia—A Record of Faulting Accommodating Plate Rotation: Geological Society of America Special Paper 513, p. 1–17, doi:10.1130/2015.2513(02).

2015 Khanal, S., Robinson, D.M., Kohn, M.J., and Mandal, S., Evidence for a far traveled thrust sheet in the Greater Himalayan thrust system, and an alternative model to building the Himalaya, Tectonics, v. 34, p. 31-52, doi:10.1002/2014TC003616.

2015 Mukherjee, S., Carosi, R., van der Beek, P., Mukherjee, B.K, and Robinson, D.M., Tectonics of the Himalaya: an introduction, Geological Society of London Special Publications, 412, doi: 10.1144/SP412.

2016 Robinson, D.M., and McQuarrie, N., The Influence of Frontal and Lateral Ramps in Fold Thrust Belts on Structural Architecture and Erosion, AGU Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Bhattacharya, G., Robinson, D.M., Orme, D., Olree, E., and Bosu, S., Miocene exhumation of the Indus-Yarlung Suture Zone in NW India: An insight into the controls of tectonics and climate, AGU Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Olree, E., Robinson, D.M., McQuarrie, N., Ghoshal, S., and Olsen, J., Kinematic modeling of central Nepal: Thermochronometer cooling ages as a constraint for balanced cross sections, AGU Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Bosu, S., Robinson, D.M., Mamtani, M.A., and Bhattacharya, G., Kinematic Analysis of the Almora Klippe: Testing Tectonic Models of the Himalayan Thrust Belt, AGU Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Robinson, D.M., Essex, C.W., and Weislogel, A.L.,  Regional Correlation of Lithofacies within the Haynesville Formation from onshore Alabama: Analysis and Implications for Provenance and Paleostructure, in Mesozoic of the Gulf Rim and Beyond: New Progress in Science and Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico Basin, GCSSEPM Program and Abstracts, p. 21.

2016 Weislogel, A.L., Wiley, K.S., Bowman, S., and Robinson, D.M., Triassic-Jurassic Provenance Signatures in the Nascent Eastern Gulf of Mexico Region from Detrital Zircon Geochronology, in Mesozoic of the Gulf Rim and Beyond: New Progress in Science and Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico Basin, GCSSEPM Program and Abstracts, p. 16.

2016 Gomes, S.W., Weislogel, A.L., Barbeau, Jr., D.L., and Robinson, D.M., Neoproterozoic provenance of the Early Jurassic Norphlet Formation, Mobile Bay, Alabama: Mexican and South American Connection with Eastern Gulf of Mexico through Continental Scale Paleo Drainage System; Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 48.

2016 Wiley, K., Weislogel, A., Bowman, S.W., Robinson, D.M., and Barbeau, D., Facies and Provenance of Basal Clastics in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Drago, L.W., Robinson, D.M., and Lu, Y., Comparison of crude oils found in Mississippian reservoir rock and potential source rocks in the Black Warrior basin, southeastern United States, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Essex, C.W., Robinson, D.M., Weislogel, A.L., and Barbeau, Jr., D.L, Regional Correlation of Facies within the Haynesville Formation from onshore Alabama: Analysis and Implications for Provenance and Paleo-Structure, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Taggart, C., Robinson, D.M., Weislogel, A.L., and Essex, C.W., Structural control on Upper Jurassic sedimentation south of the Middle Ground Arch, Eastern Gulf of Mexico, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Bosu, S., Robinson, D.M., and Bhattacharya, G., Kinematic Analysis of the Almora Klippe: Testing Tectonic Models of the Himalayan Thrust Belt, SC GSA Abstracts with Programs.

2015 Robinson, D.M., Jackson, W.T., Jr., Weislogel, A.L., Shang, F., and Jian, X., Crustal Development of the Eastern Tibetan Plateau Preceding and Post India-Asia continent-continent collision: Insights from terrestrial ‘redbed’ basins in the Yidun Arc Terrane, AGU Abstracts with Programs.

2015 Robinson, D.M., and Weislogel, A.L., Structural Controls on Sediment Transport Pathways in the Jurassic Eastern Gulf of Mexico, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Jackson, W.T., Jr., Robinson, D.M., Weislogel, A.L., Shang, F., and Jian, X., 2015, Utilizing Detrital Zircon Data to Understand Indistinct Provenance Age Signatures Throughout the Eastern Tibetan Plateau, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Mandal, S., Robinson, D.M., Kohn, M.J., Das, O., and Khanal, S., Upper Crustal Structure and Shortening in the Himalayan thrust belt in Kumaun, Northwest India, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Das, O., Robinson, D.M., Andrus, F., Mandal, S.*, Sen, K., and Khanal, S., Stable Isotopic Variation of the Gangolihat and Deoban Formations in Garhwal-Kumaun, Northwestern India: Implications for the Correlation of the Lower Lesser Himalayan Stratigraphy, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Shang, F., Weislogel, A.W., Robinson, D.M., Shikha, S., Ruiqian, C., Jackson, W.T., Jr., Qi, Z., and Tripati, A., 2015, Low Latitude Terrestrial Climate of Southeastern Tibet Revealed Through Clumped Isotope Thermometry: Implications for the Late Cretaceous Elevation History of Southeastern Tibet, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Weislogel, A., and Robinson, D., Structural and Paleogeographic Controls on Sediment Transport Pathways in the Jurassic Eastern Gulf of Mexico: Implications for Along-Strike Provenance Variation Within the Norphlet Erg, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Abstracts with Programs.

 

 

Current Research Projects

RESEARCH

I enjoy discovering and researching how orogenic systems evolve from the proto-magmatic arc to fully mature collapsing systems. I want to understand how mountain belts grow and change in different tectonic environments. I combine tectonics, structural geology, geochemistry, geochronology, sedimentology, petrology, and field mapping to decipher the evolved structural architecture in orogenic systems. I concentrate my effort in the Himalaya–Nepal, India, Bhutan, southern Tibet. My research in the U.S. focuses on the development of the Appalachian Mountains in Alabama and the Cordilleran in Montana, and the rifting of Pangea and evolution of the Gulf of Mexico.

PAKISTAN PROJECT

Summary

Problem: The structural style and deformation history needs to be determined to be able to assess the hydrocarbon potential of the Salt Range-Potwar Plateau, Kohat Plateau and Bannu Basin. To determine the deformation history, first the differences in the rocks types and deformation styles need to be evaluated. We propose to collect the field data needed to determine the deformation history, then model the deformation history. Once we have used two dimensional and three dimensional models, we will be able to assess the hydrocarbon migration into the reservoirs and the traps in the petroleum system.
Goals: The main objective of this project is to determine the thrust belt geometry and document the kinematic evolution of the Salt Range-Potwar Plateau, Kohat Plateau, and Bannu Basin to determine the hydrocarbon potential of the region. To accomplish this, we have the following goals: 1) Two years of field work with an international collaborative team from Pakistan and the United States; 2) Use field data to balance and restore cross sections and model the results in a two dimensional computer program; 3) Equip and utilize a centrifuge modeling lab to turn two dimensional data into three dimensional modeling; 4) Use laboratory dating to bracket the time at which faults moved producing earthquakes; 5) Evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of this part of the Pakistani fold-thrust belt; 6) Publish at least three manuscripts in peer-review international journals.

Outcomes: This project will improve the quality and relevance of the Pakistan education and research system. Our collaboration will increase technology exchange as well as improve resources at the University of Peshawar. We will increase the capacity of science to improve the well-being of the Pakistani people by improving education and economic development. By utilizing new techniques and acquiring new data to assess and identify hydrocarbon reserves, we will address the severe energy crises and potentially improve the quality of life of the public. The project will improve the capacity of the University of Peshawar to support industry competiveness because the results from this project will attract new investors from the hydrocarbon industry, which will create new job opportunities and will enhance the socioeconomic conditions of Pakistan. In addition to assessing the hydrocarbon potential of the fold-thrust belt, we are committed to the training and education of underrepresented groups in both Pakistan and the United States. By the end of the project, we will also be able to contribute toward earthquake assessment because of the computer and physical centrifuge modeling aspects of our proposed research.

If you are interested in working on this project, please contact me.

 

THE HIMALAYA AND TIBET

Nepal: My Ph.D. was completed on the structure, stratigraphy, and kinematic history of western Nepal. I have walked 100′€™s of kilometers in the region and produced a geologic map (Robinson et al., 2006) and balanced cross sections (Robinson, 2008). Subodha completed his dissertation in Central Nepal. Recently, we have published four papers about Nepal (Robinson and DeCelles, 2014; Khanal et al., 2014, Robinson and Martin, 2014; Khanal et al., 2015) and are working on more. I have a funded NSF grant to work in central and far western Nepal

Photos from May-April 2017 (far western Nepal) and 2016 (central Nepal) Field Season

NW India: The PhD of Subho Mandal was focused in NW India and was funded by NSF. This project was to determine whether the channel flow model or the critical taper model best explains the geologic features in this part of India. I travelled twice to NW India and Subho did 4 seasons of research. Subho published a paper about this work (Mandal et al., 2014) and is working on more papers. Dido is focusing his Ph.D. in this region. Gourab is working on his Ph.D. in Ladakh in NW India.

Pictures from Field Seasons in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015

Eastern Tibet: Amy Weislogel (WVU) and I have a funded NSF collaborative research project in Eastern China that began in July 2011. We are working near Garze on the structure, stratigraphy, and sedimentology of hypothesized Mesozoic Basins. The objective is to understand the tectonic history of the basin with a goal of determining the pre-Cenozoic contribution to the building of the Tibetan Plateau. This is the subject of Will Jackson’s PhD.

Field Photos from 2014 and 2013 Field Seasons

Southern Tibet: In 2006, Nadine McQuarrie and I traveled to southern Tibet to look at the Tibetan fold-thrust belt. We flew into Lhasa and traveled by vehicle southward to Qomolangma and eastward toward Kodari. We had a Chinese field assistant, Sunxia, from Chengdu. This is an active research project for me. I am interested in the stratigraphy of the Tethyan sediments and how those sediments correlate to rocks of the same age in the Himalayan fold-thrust belt. Students interested in working on this project have to possess the qualities of determination, patience, curiosity, and a willingness to deal with the unknown.

Bhutan: In 2006, I went with Nadine McQuarrie to Bhutan (McQuarrie et al., 2008). Djordie Grujic was also on this trip. I went as an advisor to teach her the Lesser Himalayan stratigraphy. In the process, I gained a greater understanding of how the Lesser Himalayan stratigraphy changes across the Himalayan arc. I am not actively working in Bhutan but using what I learned in other papers. If a student wished to work in Bhutan, I would try to make that happen.

GULF OF MEXICO

I finish the 5th year of working on a project in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico with Amy Weislogel (WVU) in conjunction with Murphy Oil and Exploration Company and Spectrum. This project involves understanding the dynamics of the opening of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and understanding the depositional pathways of the Upper Jurassic Norphlet Formation. See Lance, Bryan, Ian, and Andrea in the student section for their M.S. titles. This project combines seismic data, well data, and core data in try to determine how the Eastern Gulf of Mexico opened. Caleb Essex and Lexie Taggart are the most recent graduates on this project.

Unfortunately this work is done in the lab using computers — well logs, seismic lines, core work — so no pictures regarding the “field work” involved.

APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS

The University of Alabama is located just within the Black Warrior Basin, which means, unfortunately, the university is not in the Appalachian fold-thrust belt. I have had three students (Gates, 2006; Bailey, 2007; Cato, 2014) work on seismic data from the fold-thrust belt and produce balanced cross sections. I also have an interest in tying the synorogenic sediment from the foreland basin to the rocks from the different terranes in the Appalachians. Lee Drago worked in the Black Warrior foreland basin and the oil signatures to determine the source of the oil and gas in the basin.

CORDILLERAN

I am interested in using synorogenic sediment to understand how a thrust belt evolves over time. Montana is a great spot to do this because not a lot of work has been done in the region. One of my student has completed an M.S. thesis in the Beaverhead Conglomerate in Bannack, near Dillon, Montana (Czeckowskyj, 2007) and relating that to the evolution of the Sevier fold-thrust belt. Students should contact me if they are interested in studying the sediments to determine how a thrust belt works.

Research Group

Structural Geology and Tectonics