Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now

Dr. Barbara Carrapa

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Sedimentary Geology/Low-T-Thermochronology

P.O. Box 3006 Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3006



Geology, PhD, Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2002
Geology, Bs(Ms), University of Pavia, Italy, 1998

Research Projects

2009-2011, CO2 sequestration in depleted compartmentalized gas fields. The key to deploying clean coal technology in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, DOE/SER, $200,000 (subcontract to Carrapa and Heller).

2009-2012, Collaborative Research: In pursuit of missing Andean lithosphere: constraining Late Cenozoic crust-mantle processes in the Puna Plateau, Central Andes, National Science Foundation (Tectonics), EAR-0911577, $326,140.

Climatic and Tectonic Controls on Sedimentation and Incision in the Marginal Basins of the Southern Puna Plateau (NW Argentina). NSF-Tectonics: EAR-0635630. Collaborator: Lindsay Schoenbohm (Ohio State University).

Stratigraphic Signatures of Orogeny: Assessing the Timing of Initial Andean Crustal Shortening. NSF-Tectonics: EAR-0710724. Collaborators: Brian Horton (UT Austin), Peter G. DeCelles (University of Arizona).

Indo-Asia collision and the rise of the Pamir: new insights from Tajikistan. National Geographic Exploratory Research Grant.
Collaborator: Lindsay Schoenbohm (Ohio State University).

Outcrop study of Sego Formation analog for Canadian heavy oil sands reservoirs, northwestern Colorado. Shell International.

Tectono-thermal evolution of the Sevier fold and thrust belt and Laramide foreland basin systems. Collaborator: Peter G. DeCelles (University of Arizona).

Constraining rates and patterns of orogenic growth in the European Alps using the foreland basin sedimentary record. Collaborators: Sanjeev Gupta (Imperial College of London, UK), Andrea DiGiulio (University of Pavia, Italy), Nicoletta Mancin (University of Pavia, Italy).


Carrapa, B. (2010), Resolving tectonic problems by dating detrital minerals, Research Focus article, v. 38, Geology, 191-192.

Carrapa, B., Hauer, J., Schoenbohm, L., Strecker, M. Schmitt, A., Villanueva, A. and Sosa Gomez, J. (2009), Reply to Comment by Davila (2009) on: “Dynamics of deformation and sedimentation in the northern Sierras Pampeanas: An integrated study of the Neogene Fiambalá basin, NW Argentina”, GSABull., in press.

Carrapa, B. (2009) Tracing exhumation and orogenic wedge dynamics in the European Alps with detrital thermochronology, Geology, v. 37; no. 12; p. 1127–1130.

Murrell, G.R., Sobel, E.R. and Carrapa, B., (in press): Calibration and comparison of etching and thermal modeling techniques for apatite fission track thermochronology, Geological Society of London.

Strecker, M.R., Alonso, R., Bookhagen, B., Carrapa, B., Coutand, I., Hain, M.P., Hilley, G.E., Mortimer, E., Schoenbohm, L., and Sobel, E.R., in press (2009) Does the topographic distribution of the central Andean Puna Plateau result from climatic or geodynamic processes? Geology, v. 37, p. 643–646; doi: 10.1130/G25545A.1.

Carrapa, B., DeCelles, P.G., Reiners, P. Gerhels, G. (2009) Apatite triple dating and white mica 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of syn-tectonic detritus in the Central Andes: a multi-phase tectono-thermal history, Geology, v. 37, 407-410.
*This article has received a special comment in Science: Andean Origins, Brooks Hanson
Science 15 May 2009 324: 857 [DOI: 10.1126/science.324_857a] (in Editors' Choice: Highlights of the recent literature).

Carrapa, B., Hauer, Jorn, Schoenbohm, L., Strecker, M. Schmitt, A., Villaneva, A. and Sosa Gomez, J.: Dynamics of deformation and sedimentation in the Sierras Pampeanas: An integrated study of the Neogene Fiambala basin, NW Argentina. Geological Society of America Bulletin.

Carrapa, B. and DeCelles, P.G. (2008): Eocene exhumation and basin development in the Puna of Northwestern Argentina, Tectonics, V. 27, TC1015, doi:10.1029/2007TC002127.

Mortimer, E. and Carrapa, B. (2007): Footwall drainage evolution in response to increasing fault displacement: Loreto fault, Baja California Sur, Mexico, Geology, v. 35, 651-654.

DeCelles, P.G., Carrapa, B. and Gehrels, G.E. (2007): Detrital Zircon U-Pb Ages Provide New Provenance and Chronostratigraphic Information from Eocene Synorogenic Deposits in Northwestern Argentina, Geology, v.35, issue 4.

Mortimer, E., Carrapa, B., Coutand, I., Schoenbohm, Sobel, E., Gomez, J.S., Strecker, M.R. (2007): Compartmentalization of a foreland basin in response to plateau growth and diachronous thrusting: El Cajon-Campo Arenal basin, NW Argentina. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 119, 637-653.

Strecker, M.R., Alonso, R.N, Bookhagen, B., Carrapa, B., Hilley, G.E., Sobel, E.R., Trauth, M.H. (2007): Tectonics and Climate of the Southern Central Andes, Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 35, 747-787.

Alonso, R.N., Carrapa, B., Coutand, I., Haschke, M., Hilley, G.E., Schoenbohm, L., Sobel, E. R., Strecker, M.R., Trauth, M.H. (2007): Tectonics, climate, and landscape evolution of the southern Central Andes: The Argentine Puna Plateau and adjacent Regions between 22º and 28ºS lat. in Oncken, O., et al.,  editors. The Andes - Active Subduction Orogeny: Frontiers in Earth Sciences, Springer Verlag,, Monograph Series 1, 265-283.

Carrapa, B., Sobel, E.R. and Strecker, M.R. (2006): Orogenic Plateau growth in the Central Andes: Evidence from sedimentary rock provenance and apatite fission track thermochronology in the Fiambala Basin, southernmost Puna Plateau margin (NW Argentina), Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 247, 82-100.

Coutand, I., Carrapa, B., Deeken, A., Schmitt, A.K., Sobel. E.R., Strecker, M.R., (2006): Orogenic plateau formation and lateral growth of compressional basins and ranges: insights from sandstone petrography and detrital apatite fission-track thermochronology in the Angastaco Basin, NW Argentina. Basin Research, 18, 1–26.

Carrapa, B., Adelmann, D., Hilley, G., Mortimer, E., Strecker, M.R. and Sobel, E.R. (2005): Oligocene uplift, establishment of internal drainage and development of plateau morphology in the southern Central Andes, Tectonics, v.24.

Carrapa, B. & Garcia Castellanos, D. (2005): Western Alpine back-thrusting as subsidence mechanism in the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (NW Italy), Tectonophysics, 406, 197-212.

Carrapa, B., Di Giulio, A. & Wijbrans, J. (2004): The early stages of the Alpine collision: an image from the detrital thermochronology of Upper Eocene-Lower Oligocene sediments in the Alps-Apennines knot area. Sedimentary Geology, 171, 181-203.

Carrapa, B., Wijbrans, J., Bertotti, G. (2004): Detecting differences in cooling/exhumation patterns within the Western Alpine arc through 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology on detrital minerals (Tertiary Piedmont Basin, NW Italy). In: Detrital thermochronology-Provenance analysis, exhumation and landscape evolution of mountain belts, Eds. Bernet M. & Spiegel, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 378, chapter 5.

Barbieri, C., Carrapa, B., Di Giulio, A., Wijbrans, J. & Murrell, G. (2003): Provenance of Oligocene syn-orogenic sediments of the Ligurian Alps (NW Italy): inferences on the belt age and its cooling history. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 92, 758-778.

Carrapa, B., Wijbrans, J. & Bertotti, G. (2003): Episodic exhumation in the Western Alps. Geology, 31, 601-604.

Carrapa, B., Bertotti, G. & Krijgsma, W. (2003): Subsidence, stress regime and rotation(s) of a tectonically active sedimentary basin within the Western Alps: the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (Alpine domain, Northwest Italy). In: Tracing Tectonic deformation using the Sedimentary Record, Eds. T. McCann & A. Saintot, Geological Society of London, 208, 205-227.

Carrapa, B. and Wijbrans, J. (2003): Cretaceous 40Ar/39Ar detrital mica ages in Tertiary sediments shed a new light on the Eo-Alpine evolution, Journal of the Virtual Explorer, 13, 43-55.

Carrapa, B. (2002): Tectonic evolution of an active orogen as reflected by its sedimentary record, an integrated study of the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (Internal Western Alps, NW Italy). Ph.D. Thesis, ISBN 90-9016220-8, Amsterdam, 177p.

Di Giulio, A., Carrapa, B., Fantoni, R., Gorla, L. & Valdisturlo, A. (2001): Middle Eocene-to Early Miocene sedimentary evolution of the western-Lombardian segment of the South-Alpine foredeep (Italy). International Journal of Earth Sciences, 90, 534-548.

Carrapa, B., Di Giulio, B. (2001): The Sedimentary record of the exhumation of a granitic intrusion into a collisional setting: a case study from Southern Alps (Gonfolite Group, Italy). Sedimentary Geology, 139, 217-228.

Carrapa, B. (1998): The Gonfolite Lombarda (south Alpine foreland basin) in the Como area; petrographic-sedimentological study of the Como Conglomerates and the Val Grande Sandstones. MS Thesis, Earth Science Department, University of Pavia, Italy, p. 222.


GEOL4200 – 05 What's old an new in the Geology of the Western U.S. Interior
GEOL4200-7 – The sedimentary record of Tectonics
GEOL2100 – Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
GEOL4200 – 05 Geology of the Andes seminar
GEOL5200 – 04 Application in low-T thermochronology
GEOL5200 – 05 Indo-Asia collision seminar
GEOL5212 – Sedimentary Seminar
GEOL5340 – Tectonics and Sedimentation

Research Statement

I am interested in understanding the dynamics of orogenic evolution in mountain belts and continental plateaus (e.g. Alps, Andes, Western US Cordillera and recently the western Pamirs and Tibet) by determining deformation and exhumation within the orogenic belt and sedimentation within the foreland basin. My main field of expertise is in sedimentary geology and low-T thermochronology (40Ar/39Ar and AFT). In recent years my efforts have been concentrated in applying multidisciplinary studies using emerging, together with well established, techniques that enable determination of timing and rats of exhumation, erosion and sedimentation leading to a better understanding of the mechanisms driving mountain building and sedimentary basin development. One particular field of interest is ‘detrital thermochronology’, i.e. the application of low-T-thermochronology to sedimentary rocks and sediments. I also use structural geology and basin analysis in order to unravel the kinematics of sedimentary basin formation through time.

Teaching Statement

I enjoy teaching both at graduate and undergraduate level and I particularly enjoy advising students through continuous support and scientific discussions. I feel very involved and responsible for the future scientific preparation and the career of my students and I am confident that a solid preparation via core classes and scientific interactions will lead them to be well prepared in their field, confident and ultimately scientifically independent.

Contact Us

Department of Geology and Geophysics

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071-2000

Phone: 307-766-3386

Fax: 307-766-6679


Department logo
Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon