Fosdick Lab
Basin Analysis & Helium Thermochronology Laboratory

***Update: I am moving from Indiana University to the University of Connecticut starting July 2016***



Julie Fosdick

Assistant Professor

Center for Integrative Geosciences

Department of Geography

University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269


Tectonics            Thermochronology         Sedimentary Basin Analysis

Our research focuses on reconstructing ancient phases of mountain building and erosion to understand how tectonics, surface processes, and climate interact to influence the Earth's dynamic mountain belts. My students and I draw upon numerous methods in our research, including field mapping and stratigraphy, low-temperature thermochronology, provenance analysis, geochronology, and structural reconstructions. Currently, I have ongoing thermochronology and basin analysis projects in the Magallanes (Austral) Basin in the Patagonian Andes, the Argentine Precordillera of the southern Central Andes, and the San Andreas Fault System in California.

Research Questions

(1) How does redistribution of rocks via erosion and sedimentation influence depositional style and tectonic deformation

(2) What are the interactions and feedbacks among tectonic activity, sediment supply, global sea level, and climate?

(3) What mechanisms drive basin subsidence and large-scale sedimentation patterns? 

(4) How can we improve provenance analysis methods to better constrain sediment source areas and regional basin paleogeography? 


The  Basin Analysis & Helium Thermochronology Lab houses a SCLM helium gas extraction and measurement system designed for low-temperature (U-Th)/He thermochronology to study thermal and exhumational histories of the Earth's crust and sediments. The lab also hosts a chemistry lab for mineral dissolution, a polarized stereomicroscope, and a petrographic microscope outfitted with a Pelcon automated point counting system. 

News from the Fosdick Lab

▪ Attending the 2016 European Geophysical Union? Catch Ellen Reat's presentation on the "Paleogeography and Depositional Systems of Cretaceous-Oligocene Strata: Huaco  Anticline, Eastern Precordillera"

▪ NEWS!!! Dr. Fosdick has accepted a faculty position at the University of Connecticut, starting July 2016. Stay tuned for more updates and contact information.

▪ Congratulations to Louis Wersan for completing his M.S. degree, with thesis research on "Reinvestigating the Mission Creek Fault: Holocene slip rates in the northern Coachella Valley and implications for southern California earthquake hazard."

▪ In August, 2015, M.S. student Ellen Reat conducted a successful field season in the Argentine Precordillera, working on the Upper Cretaceous and Paleogene basin history.

▪ M.S. student Joel Leonard has been accepted to the Mountain Ranges and High Plateaus Summer School at the University of Michigan's Camp Davis in Wyoming, August 16-29, 2015. More info here

▪ Congratulations to M.S. student Louis Wersan for receiving Best Presentation for Master's Research (oral) at the 2015 Crossroads Geology Conference at Indiana University, March 27-28th, 2015.

▪ M.S. student Ellen Reat has accepted a Summer 2015 internship position with ExxonMobil.

NEW! Recently published in Tectonics, our new paper explores the effects of attenuated lithosphere and sediment loading on the Magallanes foreland basin, Patagonian Andes (link).

▪ Dr. Fosdick was awarded the 2014 Basin Research Early Career Award for her work on using detrital thermochronology provenance to understand orogenic evolution. Download the paper here.