Dissertation Defenses

Doctoral students who have an upcoming dissertation oral defense are posted here. So why not take this opportunity to learn about the research that our graduate students are doing!

Dissertation Defense for Stephen Phillips


Department Contact Email: sca2@wildcats.unh.edu

Defense Title: Unraveling depositional and diagenetic signals in magnetic susceptibility in methane-bearing sediments along the Indian, Cascadia, and Japanese margins

Defense Date and Time: 08/13/15 1:00 pm

Defense Location: James Hall, Room 254

Defense Advisor: Dr. Joel Johnson

Defense Abstract: Magnetic susceptibility is a bulk measure that reveals variation in ferromagnetic mineral content. High-resolution measurement of magnetic susceptibility in ocean drilling records reveals variability that can be attributed to primary depositional processes and/or secondary diagenetic process that occur after deposition. Each chapter of my dissertation investigates magnetic susceptibility records along with geochemical, mineralogical, and rock magnetic techniques in methane-bearing marine sediments along the Indian, Cascadia, and Japanese margins.

Chapter I: Using a multi-proxy approach, I investigated variation in productivity and weathering over the last 110,000 years in the northern Indian Ocean within the core Indian monsoon rainfall zone. These results reveal an increase in productivity due to reduced stratification and a decrease in weathering during the last glacial period due to a weakened summer monsoon. This work reveals a relationship between Zr/Rb and magnetic susceptibility that can be utilized to predict primary detrital magnetic susceptibility.

Chapter II: I used an elemental analysis and rock magnetic approach to decouple detrital and diagenetic patterns in magnetic susceptibility at three sites along the Cascadia accretionary wedge. Each site reveals intervals of diagenetic loss in magnetic susceptibility that is balanced by an increase in sulfur due to dissolution of magnetite and precipitation of pyrite. The diagenetic loss of magnetic susceptibility is influenced by organic matter availability as well as upward methane flux.

Chapter III: I used a rock magnetic approach to investigate the magnetic mineralogy in a deep sediment record down to ~2.5 km below the seafloor offshore northern Honshu, Japan. The magnetic susceptibility record reveals cm-scale increases that are likely the result of density sorting causing concentration of heavy minerals. The magnetic mineral assemblage is dominated by titanomagnetite with an increase in Ti-rich titanomagnetite associated with deeply buried (~2 km) coal beds. This change along the titanomagnetite solid solution series, may represent (1) a change in provenance to mafic volcanic sources during back arc rifting or (2) selective dissolution of Ti-poor, iron(III)-rich magnetite during microbial iron reduction since burial.


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