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Jeffrey A Karson

Jeffrey A Karson


Professor
Earth Sciences

jakarson@syr.edu

222 Heroy Geology Laboratory
315.443.7976


News Articles

Lava Man

Icelandic volcano system has been spewing lava since early September

Web Sites

Oceanic Lithosphere

Lava Project

Discovering the Deep

Research and Teaching Interests

The focus of my research is structural and tectonic analysis of rift and transform plate boundaries. investigations of contental extensional terranes, rifted continental margins, Iceland and mid-ocean ridges provide overlapping perspectives on crustal accetion across a spectrum of environments dominated by magmatic construction and mechanical deformation. I use outcrop-scale data collected from a wide range of research approaches including field geology, drone imaging, and seafloor investigations using submarines, ROV's, and AUV's to constrain larger-scale tectonic processes. The cross-pollination of data and processes from different environments helps to provide a more comprehensive understanding of crustal accretion on Earth and other planetary bodies.

Courses

Volcanoes and Earthquakes (EAR 225)

Structural Geology (EAR 333)

Oceanic Lithosphere & Ophiolites (EAR432/632)

The Art & Science of Lava, with Robert Wysocki (HRN 340/350)

Education

B.S. (Geology) Case Institute of Technology (CWRU), 1972
M.S. (Geology) State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA), 1975
Ph.D. (Geology) State University of New York at Albany, 1977

Career

Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University, August 2006-present
Department Chair and Jessie Page Heroy Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University, 2007-2013
Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2006
Professor, Division of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment & Earth Sciences, Duke University, 1996-2006
Department Chair, Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Duke University, 1996-2000
Research Fellow, Danish Lithosphere Center, 1994-2000
Professor, Department of Geology, Duke University, 1992-1996
Associate Professor, Department of Geology, Duke University, 1986-92
Associate Scientist, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1984-86
Summer Faculty Fellow, Department of Geology & Planetology, Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology, 1984 and 1985
Assistant Scientist, Department of Geology & Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1980-84
Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1979-80
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto, 1977-79

Selected Recent Publications

Books and Edited Volumes

Karson, J.A., D.J. Fornari, D.S. Kelley, M.J. Perfit, and T.M. Shank, Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Oceanic Crust, Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Winner of the 2016 Prose Award for Earth Sciences, this book is a major compilation of new images (and interpretations) of outcrops of oceanic basement rocks obtained from submersible craft and remotely operated vehicles. The first of its kind, this book documents and illustrates the current state of knowledge of the oceanic crust and serves as an authoritative educational resource both (electronically and in print) for the next generation of marine scientists. www.cambridge.org/discoveringthedeep

Buck, W.R., P.T. Delaney, J.A. Karson, and Y. Lagabrielle, Faulting and Magmatism at Mid-Ocean Ridges, 348 pp., American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph 106, 1998.

Collectively, the 12 review papers in this volume constitute one of the first comprehensive overviews of a new generation of investigations of mid-ocean ridge spreading centers and oceanic crust.

Karson, J.A., M. Cannat, D.J. Miller, and D. Elthon, D., eds., Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, 153, 577 pp., Ocean Drilling Program, College Station, TX, 1997.

This edited volume contains 25 peer-reviewed articles and 7 data reports on post-cruise investigations of several drill cores into the oceanic crust during a major oceanographic research cruise on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Cannat, M., J.A. Karson, D.J. Miller, et al., eds, Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Initial Reports, 153, 798 pp., Ocean Drilling Program, College Station, TX, 1995.

This volume records the primary data collected on drill cores by shipboard scientists during a 2-month long drilling cruise on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.


Selected Recent Publications by Topic

Marine Geology & Geophysics

Szitkar, F., Tivey, M.A., Kelley, D.S., Karson, J.A., Früh-Green, G.L., and Denny, A., Magnetic exploration of a low-temperature ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal site (Lost City, 30°N, MAR), Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 461, 40-45, 2017.

Worman, S.L., Pratson, L.F., Karson, J.A. and Klein, E.M., Global rate and distribution of H2 gas produced by serpentinization within oceanic lithosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 12, 6435-6443, doi;10.1002/2016GL06906612, 2016.

Horst, A. J., R. J. Varga, J. S. Gee, J. A. Karson, Diverse magma flow directions during of sheeted dike complexes at fast- to superfast-spreading centers, Earth Planet Sci. Let., 408, 119-131, 2014.

Karson, J.A., K.L.C. Bell, A.F. Nanfito, D. Joyce, M. Cunha, J. Cristobo and E. Manhon, In search of serpentinization on Gorringe Bank, in Bell, K.L.C., K. Elliot, C. Martinez and S.A. Fuller, eds., New Frontiers in Ocean Exploration: The E/V Nautilus and NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer 2011 Field Season, Oceanography, 25 (1), supplement, 38-39, 2012.

Horst, A.J., R.J. Varga, J. Gee and J. Karson, Paleomagnetic constraints on constructional deformation of superfast-spread oceanic crust exposed at Pito Deep Rift, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B12103, doi:10.1029/2011JB008268, 2011.

Christeson, G.L., J.A. Karson, and K.D. McIntosh, Mapping of seismic layer 2A/2B boundary above the sheeted dike unit at intermediate-spreading crust exposed near the Blanco Transform, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-Cubed), 11, Q03015, doi: 10.1029/2009GC002864, 2010.

Lava Project

Junium, C.K., A. Stathis, T. Kahan, C. Sant, J.A. Karson and R.J. Wysocki, Organic matter preservation at the interfaces of experimental lava flows, Astrobiology, in review, 2017

Karson, J. A. and R.W. Hazlett, Constraining processes in natural and experimental basaltic lava flows, in Varga, R.J. ed., Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Keck Research Symposium in Geology, 29, 5 pp., 2016.

Karson, J. A. and R.W. Hazlett, Calibrating natural basaltic lava flows with large-scale experiments, in Varga, R.J. ed., Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Annual Keck Research Symposium in Geology, 28, 6 pp., 2015.

Edwards, B.R., J.A. Karson, R.J. Wysocki, E. Lev, I. Bindemen and U. Kueppers, Insights on lava-ice/snow interactions from large-scale basaltic melt experiments, Geology, doi:10.1130/G34305.1, 2013.

Karson, J.A. and R.J. Wysocki, Do-it-Yourself Lava Flows: Science, art, and education in the Syracuse University Lava Project, EARTH, 57, 9, 38-45, 2012

Lev, E., M. Spiegelman, R.J. Wysocki, and J.A. Karson, Investigating lava flow rheology using video analysis and numerical flow models, J. Volcanology Geothermal Res., 247-248, 62-73, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.08.002, 2012.

Iceland

Karson, J.A., J.A. Farrell, L.A. Chutas, A.F Nanfito, J.A. Proett, K.T. Runnals and K. Sæmundsson, Widespread rift-parallel strike-slip faulting in Iceland, Tectonics, in preparation, 2017.

Horst, A.J., J.A. Karson and R.J. Varga, Large rotations of crustal blocks in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone of northern Iceland, Tectonics, in press, 2017.

Karson, J.A., Propagating rifts, migrating transform faults, and rift-parallel strike-slip faults in Iceland, Geochemistry, Geophysics and Geosystems, doi: 10.1002/2017GC007045, 2017.

Siler, D.L. and J.A. Karson, Segment-scale crustal accretion processes in Iceland, Tectonics, 36, doi: 10.1002/2017TC004629, 2017.

Karson, J. A., Crustal accretion of thick, mafic crust in Iceland: Implications for volcanic rifted margins, Can. J. Earth Sci., 53, 1-11, doi:10.1139/cjes-2016-0039, 2016.

Siler, D.L. and J.A. Karson, Focused subsidence during Tertiary crustal construction in the magmatic rift zones of Iceland: Structure and stratigraphy of the Vatnsdalur Flexural Basin, Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull., 124, doi:10.1130/B30562.1, 2012.

Siler, D.L. and J.A. Karson, Three-dimensional structure of inclined sheet swarms: Implications for crustal thickening and subsidence in the volcanic rift zones of Iceland, J. Volcanology Geothermal Res., 188, 333–346, 2009.

Sæmundsson, K. and J. A. Karson, Stratigraphy and tectonics of the Húsavík-Western Tjörnes area, Unpublished Report, prepared for Alcoa and HRV Engineering, ÍSOR-2006/-32, 35 pp. and 1:20,000 Geological Map, 2006.

Presentations at National & International Scientific Meetings

(Speaker underlined)

Brandsdóttir, B., J.A. Karson, S. Magnúsdóttir, and R.S. Detrick, Stratigraphy, structure and tectonics of the Eyjafjarðaráll Rift, abandoned southern segment of the Kolbeinsey Ridge, North Iceland, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, T51G-0564, 2017.

Karson, J.A., B. Brandsdóttir, A.J. Horst and J.A. Farrell, Structural evolution of transform fault zones in thick oceanic crust of Iceland, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, T44C-04, 2017.

Wysocki, R.J and J.A. Karson, The aesthetics and dynamics of lava: An interdisciplinary course in which the volcano is brought to the students, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, PA43C-05, 2017.

Karson, J.A., Mid-crustal spreading in volcanic rifted margins to mid-ocean ridges, GEOPRISMS Rift Initiation and Evolution (RIE) Theoretical and Experimental Institute, Albuquerque, NM, 2017.

Farrell, J.A., J.A. Karson and J.A. Proett, Strike-slip faulting within the Hreppar Microplate, southern Iceland, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, in press, 2016.

Karson, J.A., Continuous spectrum of crustal structures and spreading processes from volcanic rifted margins to mid-ocean ridges, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, in press, 2016.

Karson, J.A., Sheeted dike complexes in contemporary oceanic crust:

Implications for spreading processes and the interpretation of ophiolites, Proceedings of the 7th International Dyke Conference, Beijing, August 2016.

Karson, J.A., Consequences of rift propagation and transform fault migration in northern Iceland, Proceedings of the International Workshop on Earthquakes in North Iceland, June 2016.

Karson, J. A. and R.W. Hazlett, Constraining processes in natural and experimental basaltic lava flows, in Varga, R.J. ed., Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Keck Research Symposium in Geology, 2016.

Davis, N.C., R. Wobus, R.W. Hazlett, and J.A. Karson, Spacing of rootless cones in Iceland and experimental lava flows, Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section Meeting (Moscow, ID), Abstracts with Programs, 48, 2016.

Brandsdóttir, B., R.S. Detrick, N. Driscoll and J.A. Karson Episodic rifting events within the Tjörnes Fracture Zone, an onshore-offshore ridge-transform in N-Iceland,

Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, T43H-07, 2015.

Junium, C.K., J.A. Karson and T. Kahan, Preservation of organic matter and its signatures on experimental lava flow interfaces: Implications for Mars, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, P33A-2127, 2015.

Karson, J.A., Upper crustal structure of oceanic lithosphere formed at intermediate to fast rates: A basis for comparison of MOR vs SSZ ophiolites, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, T32C-01, 2015.

Karson, J.A., Consequences of rift propagation for spreading in thick oceanic crust in Iceland, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, T43H-07, 2015.

Karson, J. A. and R.W. Hazlett, Calibrating natural basaltic lava flows with large-scale experiments, in Varga, R.J. ed., Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Annual Keck Research Symposium in Geology, 2015.

Davis, N.C., R. Wobus, R.W. Hazlett, and J.A. Karson, Comparison of Icelandic rootless cones and experimental lava features, Geological Society of America N.E. Section Meeting (Bretton Woods), Abstracts with Programs, 47, 3,110, 2015.

Pelland, C.G., J.A. Karson and R.W. Hazlett, Experimental modeling and analysis of the effect of lava tube morphology on molten basaltic material transport, Programs, 47, 3,110, 2015.

Brown, T.C., M.J. Cheadle, B.E. John, L.A. Coogan, J.S. Gee, J.A. Karson, R. Meyer, G. Ceuleneer, and S. Swapp, Towards solving the conundrum of fast-spread ocean crust formation: Insights from textural analysis of gabbroic rocks from Pito Deep and Hess Deep, East Pacific Rise, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V31B-4730, 2014.

Karson, J.A., Reconstructing ophiolites: Reassessing assumptions from the oceanic crust and related terranes, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V53C-4878, 2014.

Karson, J.A., R.W. Hazlett, R.J. Wysocki, M.E. Bromfield, N.C. Browne, N.C. Davis, C.G. Pelland, W.L. Rowan and K.A. Warner, Keck Consortium Lava Project: Undergraduate research linking natural and experimental basaltic lava flows, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, ED51A-3414, 2014.

Proett, J.A. and J.A. Karson, Enigmatic rift-parallel, strike-slip faults around Eyjafjörður, northern Iceland, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, T43A-4672, 2014.

Runnals, K.T., J.A. Karson and A.J. Fiorentino II, Multiple generations of faulting: A kinematic analysis of the Lagerfljót Region, northeast Iceland, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, T43A-4673, 2014.

Worman, S., L. Pratson, T. Darrah, J.A. Karson and E.M. Klein, An analytical model for the free H2 produced by serpentinization within the oceanic lithosphere, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V53A-4827, 2014.

Brandsdóttir, B., R.S. Detrick, G. Helgadóttir, B. Richter, L. Mayer and J.A. Karson, The Tjörnes Transform and Kolbeinsey Ridge, N-Iceland, tectonics and volcanism, Earthquakes in Northern Iceland Meeting, Husavík, Iceland, Abstract Volume, 2013.

Karson, J.A., R.J. Wysocki, B.R. Edwards and E. Lev, Natural-scale lava flow experiments on video: Variations with temperature, slope, and effusion rate, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V51D-2702, 2013.

Karson, J.A., Rift to drift transition at volcanic rifts and rifted margins: Lessons from Iceland, Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting (Denver), Abstracts with Programs, 45, 7, 446, 2013.

Karson, J.A. and R.J. Wysocki, Undergraduate lava flow demonstrations: The next best thing to a volcano, Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting (Denver), Abstracts with Programs, 45, 7, 147, 2013.

Lev, E, M. W. Spiegelman, R.J. Wysocki, and J.A. Karson, Determining lava rheology using video velocimetry and flow models (Invited), Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V51D-2703, 2013.

Brown, T., M.J. Cheadle, B.E. John, L.A. Coogan, J.S. Gee, J.A. Karson, and S. Swapp, Gabbro microstructure and crystallography from Pito Deep: Evidence for gabbro glacier flow, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, OS13D-1765, 2012.

Dietterich, H., K. Cashman, R. Wysocki, and J. Karson, Complex channel networks in Hawai‘i and the influence of underlying topography on flow emplacement, American Geophysical Union, Chapman Conference on Hawaiian Volcanism, August 2012.

Edwards, B.R., J. A. Karson, R.J. Wysocki, E. Lev; I. N. Bindeman; U. Kueppers, Experimental insights on natural lava-ice/snow interactions and their implications for glaciovolcanic and submarine eruptions, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V21A-2763, 2012.

Karson, J.A., Oceanic Core Complexes: Expressions of Extreme Tectonic Extension in Oceanic Lithosphere, Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting (Charlotte), Abstracts with Programs, 44, 7, 69, 2012.

Karson, J.A. and Wysocki, R.J. Deformation structures in natural-scale experimental lava flows, Structural Geology & Tectonics Forum, Williamstown, MA, June 2012.

Karson, J.A. and R.J. Wysocki, Bringing the volcano to central NY: Natural-scale basaltic lava flow demonstrations for geoscience students, Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting (Charlotte), Abstracts with Programs, 44, 7, 573, 2012.

Lev, E., M. Spiegelman, R. Wysocki, and J. Karson, Investigating lava properties and dynamics using experimental lava flows, computer vision, and numerical modeling, American Geophysical Union, Chapman Conference on Hawaiian Volcanism, August 2012.

Lev, E., M. Spiegelman R. Wysocki, J. Karson, Investigating lava properties using experiments, video analysis, infrared thermometry and numerical flow models, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V11B-2763, 2012.

Karson, J.A., R.J. Wysocki, M.T. Kissane, C.M. Smith and S.K. Spencer, Experiments on natural-scale basaltic lava flows: Scope and first results of the Syracuse University Lava Project, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V14A-06, 2012.

Wysocki, R.J. and J.A. Karson, “The Lava of Syracuse” A real time lava pour, NYS STEM Education Collaborative Summer Institute, July 10, 2012.