Collaborative Research: Spatial and Temporal Growth of Upper Crustal Intrusions, Henry Mountains, Utah

  • Morgan, Sven S.S. (PI)

Grant Details


The goal of this project is to take advantage of the exceptional exposures of shallow crustal igneous intrusions in the Henry Mountains of southern Utah to study in detail the spatial and temporal growth of plutons constructed from multiple magma pulses. Because the intrusions were emplaced during a tectonic lull, they are largely free of complicating tectonic structures and specific variables related to magma emplacement can be evaluated, some that is difficult to in many other geologic settings. Each of the five separate intrusive centers in the Henry Mountains preserves a different stage of the evolution of a shallowly constructed igneous system, ranging from a small-total-volume body comprised mostly of dikes to a fully mature body comprised of dozens of relatively large intrusions. This project is focusing on detailed studies of three of these intrusive centers: one each at an early, moderate, and advanced stage of development. Using data field, geochemical, geochronogical, and paleomagnetic data from these intrusive centers, a general construction model for a shallow igneous complex is being constructed. Synthesis of the data and construction of models for data emplacement are being facilitated by the integration of data into geographic information system. Ultimately, a series of fully 3-D models for each intrusive center will be created using constraints from the collected data to study growth of the composite intrusions in space and time. This research will advance our understanding of how igneous intrusions grow in the shallow crust. These intrusions are important for many reasons, including that they feed volcanic eruptions, they serve as heat reservoirs for geothermal fields, and that fluids associated with the intrusions are an important souce of economic mineral deposits. This project is specifically designed to further our knowledge of: (1) the geometries of the plumbing system in shallow igneous systems, (2) how these systems evolve as magma pulses intrude sequentially, (3) magma intrusion rates and their variability in space and time, and (4) the manifestation of magma pulses at different spatial and temporal scales structurally, geochemically, etc. The project is a collaborative effort between researchers at Eastern Carolina University, SUNY College at Geneseo, and Central Michigan University. In addition to the scientific goals of the project, the research is providing for the training of graduate and undergraduate students in STEM disciplines at all three institutions and results of the study will be used for the development of resources for teaching, research, and outreach.

Effective start/end date08/15/1207/31/15


  • National Science Foundation: $82,928.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.