Patagonia Field Trip 2014-2015

  • a rainy day in the forest
  • along the cliffs in Valle Chacabuco
  • Astrid in a soil pit
  • braided river entering Lago General Carrera
  • camping in Valle Chacabuco
  • Chilean Grocery Shopping
  • confluence of Rio Baker and Rio Neff
  • Dave teaching above Lago Jeinimeni
  • desert succulents
  • Devon in Valle Jeinimeni
  • Devon on steeply dipping sedimentary rocks along Rio Las Dunas
  • digging soil pits in Valle Chacabuco
  • Emma enjoying the field area
  • Emma, Maya and Astrid in Valle Jeinimeni
  • Emma measuring section in Valle Jeinimeni
  • fossil plant in Valle Jeinimeni
  • group photo
  • Guanaco in Valle Chacabuco
  • Guanacos in Valle Chacabuco
  • hiking up to the section in Valle Jeinimeni
  • hostal near Coyhaique
  • James in Valle Chacabuco
  • James teaching about soils
  • Lago General Carrera
  • Lago Jeinimeni after a storm
  • Lago Jeinimeni view
  • Lago Jeinimeni view
  • Lenticular clouds over the Andes
  • Liz teaching about strath terraces
  • Liz teaching
  • local residents in Valle Jeinimeni
  • looking at maps
  • looking for condors in Valle Chacabuco
  • Luke looking for glacial deposits
  • lunch along Rio Las Dunas
  • lunch at Rio Baker
  • lunch in Valle Chacabuco
  • lunch in Valle Jeinimeni
  • Maddie in the forest
  • marshmallows and feet around the fire
  • Martha at the confluence of Rio Baker and Rio Neff
  • measuring Oligocene section along Rio Las Dunas
  • measuring section in Valle Jeinimeni
  • modern flower on the outcrop Valle jeinimeni
  • mollusks along Rio Las Dunas
  • morning snow on the mountains at Lago Jeinimeni
  • Oligocene bivalve along Rio Las Dunas
  • Oligocene bivalves along Rio Las Dunas
  • on the Carretera Austral
  • on the outcrop with Volcan Hudson ash
  • on the trail in Valle Chacabuco
  • Mark Brandon at a stop along the Carretera Austral
  • rainbow over Lago General Carrera from campsite
  • rainbow over Lago General Carrera
  • reconnaissance in Valle Jeinimeni
  • Rio Las dunas delta extending into Lago General Carrera
  • Rio Murta
  • Sam taking notes
  • soil pit digging action
  • spotting Andean Condors
  • staff meeting
  • sunrise in Valle Chacabuco
  • to be or not to be that is Maddie's question
  • to the secion Cosmelli Basin
  • two groups measuring section in Valle Jeinimeni
  • Valle Chacabuco campsite
  • Valle Chacabuco
  • Valle Chacabuco
  • Valle Jeinimeni
  • viewpoint over Lago Jeinimeni
  • walking at sunrise in Valle Chacabuco
  • walking in Valle Chacabuco
  • water samples
  • water sampling near Lago Jeinimeni
  • Xinxin has found the rocks

Thanks to the generosity of alumni who value the learning experience of field work, Yale Geology & Geophysics offered a field program this year. This field program focused on investigating modern and ancient climate and the relationship to mountain building in the Patagonia region of South America. Students learned field skills, conducted field work, analyzed samples in a lab, and presented their results and interpretation to other students and faculty. 

The program began in the fall of 2014 with periodic meetings to get organized and talk about the different components of the project. During this time students learned about the geology and climate of the field areas and developed their individual research projects. We departed for the field just after Christmas and returned in time for the beginning of classes in January. During the spring term, the team of students met regularly to analyze samples, discussing the data that different group members produced, and ultimately presenting their observations and interpretations to the members of the field program as well as invited faculty.

Students projects this year included detrital zircon geochronology, developing paleoclimate records from proxy materials including organic molecules, volcanic glasses, and paleosol carbonates, characterizing the modern climate based on stable isotope measurements of precipitation, thermochronometric measurements of the rate of exhumation of granitic rocks in the Andes, and modeling of the development of the Andes at the latitude of ~45-47°S.


Undergraduate Students: Paige Breen, Luke Cartwright, Martha Cosgrove, Sam Lichtin, Maya Midzik, Astrid Pacini, Maddie Shankle, Emma Spence, Xinin Xu

Graduate Students: Dave Auerbach, Liz Christeleit, Devon Cole, James Super

Faculty: Mark Brandon

Photos courtesty of David Auerbach, James Super, Martha Cosgrove, Paige Breen, Astrid Pacini, Maya Midzik, Maddie Shankle,