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Sarah Kittross

Sarah Kittross

Sarah's personal research website

MS Student Earth Sciences

308A Heroy GL


My research is focused on analyzing detrital monazite as a sedimentary provenance tool in the Southern Appalachian basin. Monazite is a powerful alternative to the more common provenance mineral, zircon. Because of it's crystallization properties, monazite can record lower temperature metamorphic events and cannot be recycled over and over again for billions of years like zircon can. I am using multiple methods in order to use "double characterization" the monazites to attempt to quantify sediment recycling. I am gathering U-Th-Pb ages and Nd isotopic composition with ablation split stream inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and studying the textural details of the grains with BSE imaging on the electron microprobe. The goal of my research is to understand the sediment recycling affecting these monazite grains more than any other single-technique study to date. The new understandings from this study will hopefully have an extremely important impact on diverse geological studies, ranging from tectonics, to sedimentary analysis, to continental crustal evolution.