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Jeffrey A Karson

Jeffrey A Karson


Jessie Page Heroy Professor & Department Chair
Earth Sciences

jakarson@syr.edu

222 (or 204B) Heroy Geology Laboratory
315.443.7976; 315.443.5298


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)

Aesthetics & Dynamics of Lava, with Robert Wysocki (EAR 400/600)

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 and 2019-2020
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

 Lava Project

Farrell, J.A., C.W. Hamilton, J.A. Karson and R.J. Wysocki, Predicting the locations of breakouts in basaltic lava flow experiments, Geology, in review, 2019.

Soldati, A., C.J. Sant, J.A. Farrell, R.J. Wysocki and J.A. Karson, The effect of bubbles on the rheology of lava flows: Insights from large-scale two-phase experiments, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., in review, 2019.

Farrell, J.A., Karson, J.A., Soldati, A. and Wysocki, R.J., Multiple-generation surface folding and non-coaxial strain of lava crusts, Bull. Volc., 80,84, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00445-018-1258-5, 2018.

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, 41 (8), 851-854, doi:10.1130/G34305.1, 20, 2013.

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

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.

 

Marine Geology & Geophysics

Karson, J.A. Oceanic transform faults, in Elias, S.A. and D. Alderton, eds., Encyclopedia of Geology, 2nd edition, Elsevier, in review, 2019.

Worman, S.L., L.P. Pratson, J.A. Karson, W.H. Schlesinger, Box model of abiotic hydrogen (H2) sources and sinks near the Mid-Ocean Ridge (MOR) with implications for the sub-seafloor biosphere Geoch. Cosmoch. Acta, in review, 2019.

Brown, T.C, M.J. Cheadle, B.E. John, L.A. Coogan, J.S. Gee, J.A. Karson and  S.M. Swapp, Textural character of gabbroic rocks from Pito Deep: A record of magmatic processes and the genesis of upper plutonic crust at fast-spreading mid-ocean ridges, J. Petrol., 60, 5, 997–102, doi: 10.1093/petrology/egz022, 2019.

Karson, J.A., From ophiolites to oceanic crust: Sheeted dike complexes and seafloor spreading, in Srivastiva, R.K., R.E. Ernst and P. Peng, eds., Dyke Swarms of the World: A Modern Perspective, Springer Geology, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1666-1_13, 2019.

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.

 

Iceland

Karson, J.A., B. Brandsdóttir, P. Einarsson, K. Sæmundsson, J.A. Farrell and  A.J. Horst, Evolution of migrating transform faults in anisotropic oceanic crust: Examples from Iceland, Can. J. Earth Sci., doi:10.1139/cjes-2018-0260, 2019.

Horst, A.J., J.A. Karson and R.J. Varga, Large rotations of crustal blocks in the Tjörnes Fracture Zone of northern Iceland, Tectonics, 37, doi:10.1002/2016TC004371, 2018.

Karson, J.A., J.A. Farrell, L.A. Chutas, A.F Nanfito, J.A. Proett, K.T. Runnals and K. Sæmundsson, Rift-parallel strike-slip faulting near the Iceland plate boundary zone: Implications for propagating rifts, Tectonics, 37, doi:10.1029/2018TC005206, 2018.

Voight, B., A. Clifton, A. Hjartarson, B. Steingrimsson, B. Brandsdóttir, F. Sigmundsson, G.Ó. Friðleifsson, G. Larsen, G. Jonsdottir, H. Noll, I. McDougall, I. Kaldal, I. Fridleifsson, J. Aronson, J. Karson, K. Gronvold, K. Young, L. Kristjansson, M. Sigurgeirsson, M.T. Gudmundsson, M. Jancin, O. Flovenz, P. Einarsson, R. Williams, S. Palmadóttir and W. L. Friedrich, A half-century of geologic and geothermic investigations in Iceland: The legacy of Kristján Sæmundsson, J. Volc. Geoth. Res., https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.08.012, 2018.

Karson, J.A., Propagating rifts, migrating transform faults, and rift-parallel strike-slip faults in Iceland, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-cubed), 18, 4043–4054, 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.

 

Selected Presentations at Scientific Meetings

(Speaker underlined)

Farrell, J.A., C.W. Hamilton, J.A. Karson and R.J. Wysocki, Predicting breakouts in basaltic lava experiments, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V23C-04, 2019.

Karson, J.A., Propagating rifts and migrating transform faults in the thick oceanic crust of Iceland, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, T13G-0270, 2019.

Farrell, J.A. and J.A. Karson, Remote 4D multispectral scanning methods for estimating active flow rheology in experimental lava, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V23F-131, 2018.

Karson, J.A., J.A. Farrell, C.J. Sant and R.J. Wysocki, Morphology and rheology of experimental meter-scale basaltic lava flows, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V23F-129, 2018.

Lingo, F., B. Black, J.A. Karson, E. Gales and A. H. Nava, Experimental lava-water interactions and consequences of LIP emplacement for marine chemistry and productivity, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V23F-134, 2018.

Sant, C.J., J.A. Karson and R.J. Wysocki, Rapid slip of basaltic lava flows on volatile-rich substrates, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V23F-133, 2018.

Soldati, A., C.J. Sant, J.A. Farrell and J.A. Karson, The effect of bubbles on the rheology of lava flows: Insights from large-scale two-phase experiments, Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, V23F-130, 2018.

Karson, J.A., B. Brandsdóttir, P. Einarsson, J. A. Farrell and A.J. Horst, Evolution of Icelandic transform fault zones: From oblique to orthogonal plate movement, Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting (Indianapolis), Abstracts with Programs, 50, 6,
doi: 10.1130/abs/2018AM-319774, 2018.

Farrell, J.A. and J.A. Karson, Morphology of transient tumuli in basaltic lava flow experiments, Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting (Indianapolis), Abstracts with Programs, 50, 6, doi: 10.1130/abs/2018AM-322417, 2018.

Farrell, J.A., J.A. Karson, and A. Soldati, Structure-from-motion photogrammetry applied to morphologic studies of natural and experimental basaltic lava flows, Geological Society of America, NE Regional Mtg., Abstracts with Programs, 50, 2 54-6, 2018.

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, T33-3053, 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, T51C-2947, 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, Abstracts with Programs, 47, 3,110, 2015.