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Department of Geology and Geophysics|People

Ken Dueker

Ken Dueker

Associate Professor

Natural Source Seismic Imaging to Constrain Continental Evolution

Office Phone: (307) 742-1765 or (307) 399-9093
Fax Phone: (307) 766-6679

P.O. Box 3006, Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3006
Office Room No: 2036 Lab Room No: 2002

➤ Personal Website


Geology, BA, Whitman College, 1985
Geophysics, PhD, University of Oregon, 1995
Seismology, Post-doc, University of Colorado, 1996-2000

Active and Previous Research Projects

Prospective students should visit my research website: Research website

Portland Lithosphere-Asthenosphere meeting September 2011 extend abstracts  

In Review

Seismic Evidence for Intermittant Upwelling of Hot Lower Mantle beneath the Yellowstone Hotspot, Schmandt, B., Humphreys, E., Dueker, K., in review Dec. 2011.

Publications (2009-11)

Link to PDF of most of my publications: HERE  

  • K.E. Karlstrom1,*, D. Coblentz, K. Dueker, W. Ouimet, E. Kirby, J. Van Wijk, B. Schmandt, S. Kelley, G. Lazear, L.J. Crossey, R. Crow, A. Aslan, A. Darling,14, R. Aster, J. MacCarthy, S.M. Hansen, J. Stachnik, D.F. Stockli, R.V. Garcia, M. Hoffman, R. McKeon, J. Feldman, M. Heizler, M.S. Donahue, and the CREST Working Group, Mantle-driven dynamic uplift of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau and its surface response: Toward a unified hypothesis, Lithopshere, in press Dec. 2011, doi: 10.1130/L150.1.
  • Schmandt, B., Dueker, K., Jasbinsek, J., Zhang, Z., A sporadic low-velocity layer atop the western U.S. mantle transition zone and short-wavelength variations in transition zone discontinuities, GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS, doi:10.1029/2011GC003668, 2011.
  • Jasbinsek, J., K. Dueker, and S. Hansen, Characterizing the 410 km discontinuity low-velocity layer beneath the LA RISTRA array in the North American Southwest, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi:10.1029/2009GC002836, Feb. 2010.
  • Yuan, H., K. Dueker, and J. Stachnik, Crustal structure and thickness along the Yellowstone hot spot track: Evidence for lower crustal outflow from beneath the eastern Snake River Plain, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi:10.1029/2009GC002787, Feb. 2010.
  • Hansen, S. and Dueker, K., P- and S-wave Receiver Function Image of Crustal Imbrication beneath the Cheyenne Belt in SE Wyoming, Bulletin of the Seismologic Society of America, ,doi:10.1785/0120080168, June 2009.
  • Calkins, J., Zandt, G. Giradi, J. Dueker, K., Geherals, G., Ducea, M., Characterization of the crust of the Coast Mountains Batholith, British Columbia, from P to S converted seismic waves and petrologic modeling, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., Sept. 2009.
  • Aster, R. MacCarthy, J., Heizler, M., Kelly, S., Karlstrom, K., Crossey, L., Dueker, K., and the CREST team, CREST Experiment Probes the Roots of the Geologic History of the Colorado Rockies, Outcrop, January 2009.
  •  Mercier, J.P., Bostock, M.G., Cassidy, J.F., Dueker, K., Gaherty, J.B., Garnero, E.J., Revenaugh, J., Zandt, G., Body wave tomography of western Canada, Tectonophysics, August 2009.

Graduate Students

Steven M. Hansen - PhD Candidate
Katie Foster - PhD Candidate
Zhu Zhang – PhD Candidate
Joe McClenahan - MS 


Undergraduate Syllabus
GEOL1001 – Earth Science and Society
GEOL2005 - Introduction to Geophysics Class website

Graduate Geophysics Syllabus
GEOL5215 - Inverse Theory and Parameter Estimation
GEOL5216 - Global Seismology
GEOL5217 - Computerized geologic problem solving

Research Statement

It is increasing clear that the mantle underlying continents is much more varied than the surface topography, crustal province boundaries, or active tectonics would suggest. Most of the mantle structure underlying tectonic mountain ranges is three-dimensional in form even though the mountain ranges are dominantly two dimensional chains. Often, post-orogenic uplift of these mountain ranges, in excess of that predicted by simple crustal thickening models, is required by geologic data (thermocron, river incision, sediments). This requires post-orogenic mechanisms that can create dynamic surface adjustments such as: the removal or retrograde metamorphism of eclogite; convective removal or delamination of over thickened thermal lithosphere; or diapiric invasion of the lithosphere by an upwelling asthenosphere (e.g., diapirs from a 410 km discontinuity partially molten layer). Constraining the relative effects of these different geodynamic processes is crucial to understanding continental orogens and continental evolution in general.

Teaching Statement

I teach two undergraduate courses every year: 1) Introduction to Geophysics (Geol2005) that is a required course for our BS degree ; 2) an Intellectual Community Geology and Society course (Geol1001). I teach two graduate level courses about every other year: Inverse Theory and Parameter Estimation (Geol5215) and Theoretical/Global Seismology (Geol5216). To truly understand the material, about half of the homeworks require MATLAB (or other language if you desire) coding of the mathematical physics.

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