Author Information

Allen J. Schaen


Stable isotopic analysis of sedimentary rocks can be used to reconstruct past geologic changes in the elevation and climate of topographic features such as mountain ranges and plateaus. The Tibetan Plateau is an ideal field laboratory for conducting this type of study because of the Plateau’s extreme topographic relief and relatively recent geologic growth. Here we present oxygen and carbon isotope compositions from a suite of sedimentary rock samples taken from the western Turpan Basin in northwestern China. This area of the basin collects sediment from weathering and erosion of the Bogda Shan located to the north. The goal of this study is to analyze changes in the stable isotope composition of rocks as a function of stratigraphic position to reconstruct paleoelevations and paleoclimates in this part of the Tibetan Plateau.

Note on the Author

Allen Schaen is a senior majoring in Earth Science with a concentration in Geology. This research began in the summer of 2010 as an Adrian Tinsley Program Summer Grant and was also supported by a Geological Society of America Northeast Section Student Research Grant. This work was present at the 2010 American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco in December.

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