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Dr. Kevin R. Chamberlain

Research Professor

Office Phone: (307) 766-2914
Fax Phone: (307) 766-6679

Department 3006
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3006 Office Room No: ESB 3024



Geology, PhD, Washington University, 1990
Geology, BA, Colgate University, 1979

Selected Publications

Li, X.H., Long, W.G., Li, Q.L., Liu, Y., Zheng, Y.F., Yang, Y.H., Chamberlain, K.R., Wan, D.F., Guo, C.H., Wang, X.C., and Tao, H., 2010, Penglai zircon megacrysts: a potential new working reference for microbeam analysis of Hf-O isotopes and U-Pb age. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research. v. 34; no. 2, p. 117-134.

Chamberlain, K.R., Schmitt, A.K., Swapp, S.M., Harrison, T.M., Swoboda-Colberg, N., Bleeker, W., Peterson, T.D., Jefferson, C.W., and Khudoley, A.K., 2010, In-situ U-Pb SIMS (IN-SIMS) micro-baddeleyite dating of mafic rocks: method with examples. Precambrian Research, v. 183, p. 379-387. doi: 10.1016/j.precamres.2010.05.004.

Smith, M.E., Chamberlain, K.R., Singer, B.S., Carroll, A.R., 2010, Eocene Clocks Agree: Coeval 40Ar/39Ar, U-Pb, and Astronomical Ages from the Green River Formation. Geology v. 38; no. 6; p. 527–530; doi: 10.1130/G30630.1.

Prothero, Donald; Anderson, Jessica Scott; Chamberlain, Kevin; and Ludtke, Joshua 2008, Magnetic Stratigraphy and Geochronology of the Barstovian-Clarendonian (middle to late Miocene) part of the Moonstone formation, central Wyoming, in Lucas et al., eds., 2008, Neogene Mammals. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 44, p. 225-232.

Chamberlain, K.R. and Mueller, P.A., 2007, Oldest rocks of the Wyoming Craton. In Earth’s Oldest Rocks, Martin J. Van Kranendonk, R. Hugh Smithies, and Vicki Bennett, eds., Developments in Precambrian Geology series, Kent Condie, series ed., Elsevier, Chapter 6.3, p. 775-791.

Duebendorfer, E.M., Chamberlain, K.R. and Fry, B., 2006, The Mojave/Yavapai Boundary zone, southwestern U.S.: a rifting model for the formation of an isotopically mixed crustal boundary zone, Geology (August) 34: 681 – 684.

Research Statement

The formation of continental crust has involved complex tectonic processes, many of which have evolved through time. By combining U-Pb geochronology and thermochronology with structural mapping and analysis, metamorphic study, thermobarometry, and Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic studies, the detailed tectonic histories of select critical regions can be unraveled and the secular evolution of tectonic processes can be evaluated. As a complement to these broad goals, I have investigated the behavior of isotopic systems during metamorphism and continue to develop reliable methods to directly date deformation and metamorphism and to determine cooling histories.

Recent and current investigations include:

  • The Proterozoic tectonic history of the southeastern Wyoming Province, the origin and development of the Proterozoic Mojave-Yavapai boundary in northwestern Arizona;
  • The age and tectonic significance of a Mid-Proterozoic magmatic complex in the southern Belt basin;
  • The Archean tectonic history of the Ferris Mountains in central Wyoming; and
  • Mesozoic metamorphism and extension in the Basin and Range Province in northeastern Nevada.

My interest in developing reliable methods to date metamorphism and deformation directly has led to studies of metamorphic zircon, sphene, apatite, garnet, rutile and monazite.

Current projects are

  • Investigating the utility of U-Pb ages of sphene from a high-grade, Proterozoic mylonite zone;
  • Using a high temperature contact aureole to investigate growth, recrystallization and diffusion effects on U-Pb sphene ages during multiple metamorphic events;
  • Applying ion microprobe mass spectrometry to distinguish age domains from diffusion fronts in sphene; and
  • Investigating the role of micro-inclusions of zircon and monazite in garnet geochronology.

A key aspect to these efforts is the integration of isotopic data with microtextural analysis and determinations of the mineral-producing metamorphic reactions.

Contact Us

Department of Geology and Geophysics

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071-2000

Phone: 307-766-3386

Fax: 307-766-6679


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