Patagonian Andes paleo-elevation history
Mountain belts strongly influence the amount and chemistry of precipitation, often forming rain shadows. Thus it is possible to use the isotopic composition of precipitation as a recorder of the elevation history of a mountain belt through time -- essentially, how strong is the rain shadow? The Patagonian Andes provide a setting to test this that has relatively simple geometry and little climatic variation.
Isotopic records of Patagonian climate
Questions of paleoelevation are tightly linked with questions of regional climate. By developing paleoclimate records, we have a wonderful opportunity to understand the abrupt and gradual changes to terrestrial climates in the Southern Hemisphere, and to tease out how much of an influence various factors exert on that climate.
Soil paleo-environmental proxy evaluation
I am also interested in how various proxies for soil temperature and the isotopic composition of precipitation compare with one another. This has the potential to reveal interesting details about what specifically these proxies are recording.