Areas: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
1. Aqueous Geochemistry
2. Environmental and Theoretical
3. Mineral Physics and Petrology
5. Paleoclimatology and Paleoceanography
6. Planetary Science
7. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
9. Space Geodesy
10. Tectonics and Structural Geology
Sedimentological and physical stratigraphic
approaches are being applied to problems of tectonics,
paleoceanography, and depositional systems.
Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
’s research, whether focused on collection of geochemical samples, paleobotanical specimens, or bentonites for geochronologic analysis, is fundamentally based on high-resolution stratigraphic analysis of core and outcrop successions. His particular expertise includes the biostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, event stratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy of Cretaceous strata in the Western Interior U.S., but he has also worked on Cretaceous successions in Canada, Mexico, Colombia, and Tibet, and includes DSDP and ODP sites in his sample inventory as well. He is interested in the sea level history of the Cretaceous, as recorded in deposits of the Western Interior basin, and has contributed to the debate concerning Cretaceous glacioeustasy.
On the theoretical side, Emile
Okal is studying the influence of poorly consolidated
sediments on the generation and propagation of low-frequency
acoustic energy from a variety of sources in the marine
environment, with the goal of obtaining constraints
on the sources of seismic noise in remote oceanic areas:
these can include landslides, small earthquakes and
unsuspected volcanic seamounts.
Lerman studies the issues of global erosion and deposition
rates of clastic and biogeochemical sediments, with
reference to the rates of continental erosion that have
been changing through geologic time. Theoretical aspects
of this work are studies of the settling rates of sediment
particles of different shape and radiogenic argon escape
from clayey sediments undergoing diagenesis.