BS, Guilford College, 1994
MS, Vanderbilt University, 1997
PhD, University of Arizona, 2001
•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)
Curriculum VitaeDownload File
The 2019-2020 academic year has begun. My group has 2 graduate students plus graduated members are still publishing papers.
-Claire graduated with her M.S. in May 2019
-Dido graduated with his M.S. in May 2019
-Gourab is working on finishing his Ph.D., expected graduation in December 2019
-Welcome Joel Schiffer to our group
-D., Gourab, and Joel attended HKT in Bozeman in June 2019
Gourab Bhattacharya, 6th year Ph.D. on the Indus Suture Zone Sedimentary rocks in Ladakh, India
Joel Schiffer, 1st year Ph.D., Pakistan fold-thrust belt
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 XTO, Houston, TX
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 Chesapeake, Oklahoma City, OK
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
Liz Olree, M.S. May 2018, “Kinematic and Flexural Isostacy Modeling in Central Nepal: Using Erosional, Depositional, and Cooling Histories to Validate a Balanced Cross Section” now at Geosyntec, St. Louis, MO
Claire Battistella, M.S. May 2019, “Using Thermochronology to Test the Validity of Two Balanced Cross Sections, Karnali River, Far-western Nepal” now at Golder Associates Corp., Sacramento, CA
Somiddho Bosu, M.S. May 2019, “Evaluating Tectonic Models using the Almora-Dadeldhura klippe”
DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES (2019-2020)
Lab Coordinator and Supervisor– All Dynamic Earth Labs (14-16 TAs)
Field Camp Committee
Tenure, Promotion, and Retention Committee
Web site Committee
2016-2019 PUBLICATIONS– (see C.V. for full publication list)
2019 Olsen, J.^, McQuarrie, N., and Robinson, D.M., Determining kinematic order and relative age of faulting via flexural-kinematic restoration: a case study in far western Nepal, Basin Research, doi: 10.1111/bre.12362
2019 Sizemore, T.^, Wielicki, M.M., Cemen, I., Stocki, D., Heizler, M., and Robinson, D., Structural Evolution of Central Death Valley, CA using new thermochronometry of the Badwater turtleback, Lithosphere, v. 11, p. 435-447, doi: 10.1130/L1044.1
2019 Mandal, S.*, Robinson, D.M., Kohn, M., Khanal, S., and Das, O., Examining the tectonostratigraphic architecture, structural geometry, and kinematic evolution of the Himalayan fold-thrust belt, Kumaun, northwest India, v. 11, p. 414-435, Lithosphere, doi: 10.1130/L1050.1
2018b Jackson, W.T., Jr.*, Robinson, D.M., Weislogel, A.L., Jian, X., and McKay, M.P., Cenozoic development of the nonmarine Mula basin in the southern Yidun terrane: deposition and deformation in the eastern Tibetan Plateau associated with the India-Asia collision, Tectonics, doi: 10/1029?2018TC004994
2018a Jackson, W.T., Jr.*, Robinson, D.M., Weislogel, A.L., Shang, F., and Jian, X., Mesozoic development of nonmarine basins in the northern Yidun terrane: deposition and deformation in the eastern Tibetan Plateau prior to the India-Asia collision, Tectonics, doi:10.1029/2018TC004995
2017 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 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 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.
2019 Bhattacharya, G., Robinson, D.M., and Wielicki, M., Detrital zircon U-Pb provenance of the Indus Group, Ladakh, NW India: Implications for the timing of India-Asia collision and early orogeny processes, 34th HKT Abstract volume, p. 14, Bozeman, MT, June 4-8, doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3238706
2018 Weislogel, A.L., and Robinson, D.M., Controls on deformation and sedimentation in the intra-cratonic eastern Gulf of Mexico, Abstract T44B-07, presented at 2018 Fall Meeting, AGU, Washington, D.C., 10-14 Dec.
2018 Sizemore, T., Cemen, I., Wielicki, M.M., Heizler, M.T, Stockli, D.F., and Robinson, D., Integrating thermochronometric and geologic data to develop a new structural model for large-magnitude extension in central Death Valley, CA, Abstract T51H-0261, presented at 2018 Fall Meeting, AGU, Washington, D.C., 10-14 Dec.
2018 Robinson, D.M., and Drago, L.W., Burial, Maturation and Migration of Crude Oils Found in Carboniferous Sandstone Reservoirs, Black Warrior Basin, northwestern Alabama, GSA Abstracts with Programs.
2018 Patrick, S., Valentino, C., Blythe, A., McQuarrie, N., and Robinson, D., Documenting variation in exhumation patterns within Central and Far Western Nepal’s Greater Himalaya with detrital apatite fission track analyses: A preliminary study, GSA Abstracts with Programs
2018 Robinson, D., McQuarrie, N., Battistella, C., and Ghoshal, S., Geologic mapping, modelling, and kinematic reconstructions from far-western Nepal, 33rd Himalayan-Karakorum-Tibet workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2018 Battistella, C., Robinson, D., McQuarrie, N., and Ghoshal, S., Using thermochronology to validate a balanced cross section along the Karnali River, far-western Nepal, 33rd Himalayan-Karakorum-Tibet workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2018 Bhattacharya G., and Robinson, D., Deformation of the Indus Basin, Ladakh, NW India, 33rd Himalayan-Karakorum-Tibet workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2018 Robinson, D., McQuarrie, N., Battistella, C., and Ghoshal, S. Incorporating geochronologic and thermochronologic data with geologic mapping in far western Nepal: Implications for tectonic models, 33rd Himalayan-Karakorum-Tibet workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2018 Bhattacharya, G., Robinson, D., Orme, D., Najman, Y., Olree, E., and Bosu, S., Low-temperature thermochronology of the Indus basin in NW India: Implications for Miocene cooling, 33rd Himalayan-Karakorum-Tibet workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2018 Ghoshal, S., McQuarrie, N., and Robinson, D., Determining sub-surface geometry by integrating transport-parallel distribution of cooling ages, surface geology and data from the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, 33rd Himalayan-Karakorum-Tibet workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2018 Olsen, K., Minzoni, R.T., and Robinson, D.M., Paleoenvironments and Reservoir Quality of the Norphlet Formation, southeastern Alabama, GCAGS Abstracts with Programs.
2018 Weislogel, A.L., and Robinson, D.M., Origin of Jurassic depocenters in the EGOM: Synthesis of structural and sedimentological analysis, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.
2017 Robinson, D.M., and Weislogel, A.L., Paleohighs and Paleolows in the Basement Rocks of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, AGU Abstracts with Programs, T21B-0561.
2017 Battistella, C., Robinson, D.M., McQuarrie, N., Ghoshal, S., and Patrick, S., Using thermochonology to validate a balanced cross section along the Karnali River, far-western Nepal, AGU Abstracts with Programs, T33C-0737.
2017 Bhattacharya, G., Robinson, D.M., Orme, D.A., Najman, Y., and Khanolkar, S., Depositional characteristics of the Indus Group in the India-Asia collision zone, northwest India, AGU Abstracts with Programs, T33C-0738.
2017 Bosu, S., Robinson, D.M., and Saha, A., A review of tectonic models and analytical data from the Almora-Dadeldhura klippe, northwest India and far western Nepal, AGU Abstracts with Programs, T33C-0739.
2017 Ghoshal, S., McQuarrie, N., Robinson, D.M., Olree, E., Valentino, C., and Olsen, J., Building a viable geometry for the central Nepal Himalaya using thermochronology and data from the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, AGU Abstracts with Programs, T54C-04.
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.
Current Research Projects
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.