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Will Nachlas

Will Nachlas

Research Associate
Earth Sciences

323 Heroy Geology Laboratory

    Research Interests

    My research focuses on the geochemistry and microstructure of Earth materials. I am interested in the processes by which minerals crystallize and recrystallize, and how we can use information from the crystal lattice scale to reconstruct the history of regional scale geologic and tectonic events. My work combines field mapping and analysis of geologic structures, crystal growth and deformation experiments across a range in pressure-temperature-time conditions, and a variety of analytical methods for measuring mineral composition and microstructure. I am also interested in the development of standards for trace element microanalysis, and I have worked with nanoporous silica to synthesize trace element doped glasses. A primary focus of my research here at SU is in the development of new trace element-in-mineral geothermometers and geobarometers for reconstructing the temperatures and pressures of past geologic events.


    PhD 2010-15 

    University of Minnesota

    BSc summa cum laude 2006-10 

    Virginia Tech  


    Published Research

    Nachlas, W.O., Thomas, J.B., Hirth, G. (2018). TitaniQ deformed: Experimental deformation of out-of-equilibrium quartz porphyroclasts. Journal of Structural Geology.

    Nachlas, W.O., Teyssier, C., Whitney, D.L., Hirth, G. (2018). Diffusion geospeedometry in natural and experimental shear zones. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 498, 129-139.

    Nachlas, W.O. (2016) Precise and accurate doping of nanoporous silica gel for the synthesis of trace element microanalytical reference materials. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 40, 505-516.

    Nachlas, W.O. and Hirth, G. (2015) Experimental constraints on the role of dynamic recrystallization on resetting the Ti-in-quartz thermobarometer. Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth 120.12: 8120-8137.

    Renedo, R., Nachlas, W.O., Whitney, D.L., Teyssier, C., Piazolo, S., Gordon, S.M., Fossen, H. (2015) Fabric development during exhumation from ultrahigh-pressure in an eclogite-bearing shear zone, Western Gneiss Region, Norway. Journal of Structural Geology 71, 58-70.

    Quilichini, A., Siebenaller, L., Nachlas, W.O., Teyssier, C. Vennemann, T., Heizler, M.T., Mulch, A. (2015) Infiltration of meteoric fluids in an extensional detachment shear zone (Kettle dome, WA, USA): How quartz dynamic recrystallization relates to fluid-rock interaction. Journal of Structural Geology 71: 71-85.

    Nachlas, W.O., Whitney, D.L., Teyssier, C., Bagley, B., Mulch, A.M. (2014) Titanium concentration in quartz as a record of multiple deformation mechanisms in an extensional shear zone. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 15.4: 1374-1397.


    Patented Research

    Nachlas, W.O. (2018). Doped nanoporous silica. U.S. Patent Application No. 15/802,731.


    Recent Conference Presentations (* invited)

    Nachlas, W.O., Thomas, J.B. (2018) Multiple mechanisms to rutilate quartz. GSA Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN

    Nachlas, W.O., Thomas, J.B. (2018) Aluminum solubility in quartz and application of the single mineral crossing isopleths method. GSA Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN

    *Nachlas, W.O., Thomas, J.B. (2018) Some experimental methods for synthesizing standards and reference materials for microbeam analysis. Microscopy and Microanalysis Pre-Meeting Congress, Baltimore, MD

    *Nachlas, W.O. (2017) Natural and synthetic glass and crystal reference materials for trace element microanalysis. Microscopy and Microanalysis, St. Louis, MO

    Nachlas, W.O., Thomas, J.B. (2016) Dynamically- and chemically-induced grain boundary migration of quartz: microstructures, crystallographic fabrics, and trace element contents. EGU General Assembly

    Nachlas, W.O., Thomas, J.B.​, Hirth, G., Watson, E.B. (2016) Experimental deformation of Ti-saturated and -undersaturated quartz porphyroclasts. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts

    Nachlas, W.O., Thomas, J.B. (2016) Synthesis of glass and crystalline reference materials for trace element microanalysis. Microanalysis Society EPMA Topical Conference, Madison, WI.