Long-lived tectonic basins can serve as detailed recorders of the evolution of upstream landscapes. My approach to terrestrial and marine basin analysis is a combination of conventional stratigraphic field methods, new advances in photogrammetry, geochemistry and geochronology. By integrating geochronology with traditional and evolving methods of stratigraphic analysis, high-fidelity deep time records of tectonic, geomorphic and climate processes can be developed and linked to global and regional events and processes.
My students and I apply several radioisotopic methods (40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb) to measure depositional and detrital ages, with our goal to place precise constraints on depositional processes and their relation to global events in Earth history. Many marine and lacustrine basins contain distal ash beds which have the potential to answer previously untested fundamental geologic questions. Within reach are precise rates of deposition, biological evolution, depositional cyclicity, deformational processes, and high resolution relative timing of paleoclimate proxies.