The Earth's surface is the interface between planet and people, and as such affects nearly every aspect of human life, from the growth of civilisations and the location of cities to the vulnerability of our homes to flooding. My research focuses on the development of landscapes over geological time, with particular emphasis on the tectonic forces which drive the growth and exhumation of both active (collisional) and passive (rift-related) mountain ranges. During my doctoral studies, I investigated the development of the prominent elevated rift flank and rift escarpment which run the length of the Baja California peninsula and define the western margin of the Gulf of California rift. By utilising a suite of techniques, including low-temperature thermochronology, GIS analysis, and field investigation, I was able to identify the mechanism which drove rift flank uplift and led to the development of this spectacular passive mountain range.
Here at TCD, I am evaluating the potential of detrital apatite U-Pb thermochronology (developed by Dr. David Chew and collaborators) to act as a sedimentary provenance indicator, with emphasis on the foreland basins of the European Alps and the Tethyan sediments of the north Indian margin.
Mark, C., D. Chew, and S. Gupta, 2017, Does slab-window opening cause uplift of the overriding plate? A case study from the Gulf of California; Tectonophysics, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2017.02.008 [Full text
Cogné, N., D. Döpke, D. Chew, C. Mark, & F. Stuart, 2016, Measuring plume-related exhumation of the British Isles in the Early Cenozoic; EPSL, v.456, p.1-15, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.09.053 [Full text from:
Mark, C., N. Cogné, & D. Chew, 2016, Tracking exhumation and drainage divide migration of the western Alps: a test of the apatite U-Pb thermochronometer; GSA Bulletin, v.128, p.1439-1460, doi:
10.1130/B31351.1. [TARA handle: www.tara.tcd.ie/handle/2262/77436]
Chew, D., M. Babechuk, N. Cogné, C. Mark, G. O’Sullivan, I. Henrichs, D.
Döpke, 2015, (LA,Q)-ICPMS trace-element analyses of Durango and McClure Mountain apatite and implications for making natural LA-ICPMS mineral standards; Chemical Geology, v.435, p.35-48, doi:
10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.03.028. [Full text from:
Mark, C., Gupta, S., Carter, A., Mark, D.F., Gautheron, C., Martin, A., Rift flank uplift at the Gulf of California: No requirement for asthenospheric upwelling, Geology, 2014. [Full text available from: geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/full/42/3/259?ijkey=EQdxeGyqRS5Ro; TARA handle: www.tara.tcd.ie/handle/2262/67956]
PhD thesis (2012): Mark, C., Landscape evolution at a young rifted margin: the Loreto region of Baja California Sur, Mexico, Imperial College London. [TARA handle: www.tara.tcd.ie/handle/2262/67957]