Richard Hanson
Herndon Professor of Geology

Department of Geology
Box 298830
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX 76129
VOICE: (817) 257-7996
FAX: (817) 257-7789

I am a field-oriented hardrock geologist, and my research commonly entails extended periods of time carrying out field studies in diverse geological settings, in many cases in remote parts of the world. A significant portion of my life has been spent living in tents in mountains, deserts, the African bush, or on the Antarctic icecap, and I enjoy working with graduate students in this kind of research.

I obtained my B.S. and M.S. in geology from Oklahoma State University in 1975 and 1977, and my Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1983. Following graduate school, a long-term fascination with the African continent led me to take a two-year position as a lecturer (equivalent to Assistant Professor) in the School of Mines, University of Zambia. Upon my return to the U.S, I was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Ohio State University from 1985 to 1988, which gave me the opportunity to participate in a number of expeditions to southernmost South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. I came to TCU in 1988, where I am responsible for the department's hardrock courses.

Research Interests:

My primary research interests are as follows:

  1. Structural, geochronological, and petrological studies of igneous and metamorphic terrains in relation to orogenic processes in Phanerozoic and Precambrian mountain belts.
  2. Proterozoic tectonics in the context of global supercontinent configurations; relations between emplacement of large igneous provinces and Proterozoic supercontinent evolution.
  3. Paleovolcanology, with emphasis on process-oriented studies of ancient volcanic deposits, products of submarine volcanism, and relations between volcanism and tectonics.

To read more about some of my research on these topics in specific geographic areas and see a few photos, click on research interests. To see a complete list of my publications (omitting published abstracts), click on bibliography. To obtain a reprint of our 2004 paper in Science on coeval large-scale 1.1 Ga magmatism in the Kalahari and Laurentian cratons, go to the URL listed for that paper on my bibliography page.

Student Research:
I try to provide hardrock-oriented graduate students with a challenging research project that will lead to a publication. Shorter projects form the basis for undergraduate senior theses. The research can involve various combinations of field work, detailed petrographic studies, and geochemical, geochronological, and paleomagnetic studies, depending on the interest and needs of the student (much of the analytical work is carried out at other labs, either in the form of collaborative projects or on a commercial basis). M.S. students who have carried out field theses in the northern Sierras with me have each spent two to three months in the summer camping out and mapping in the mountains. Students doing senior theses have spent up to six weeks in the field. My research in southern Africa has involved considerable graduate-student participation both in the field work, and in geochronological and paleomagnetic lab work carried out in collaboration with MIT and the University of Texas at Austin.

Graduate students generally take two years, or sometimes a little longer, in completing the M.S. degree. During that period, they get a solid background in hardrock geology, both from the graduate-level hardrock courses I offer on a two-year cycle, and from the thesis research experience. My graduate students generally are teaching assistants in both Mineralogy and Petrology and have responsibility for the lab sessions in those courses. This seems to be an enjoyable experience that provides an excellent review of basics at the same time the student is taking advanced hardrock courses.

Please click on student publications to see recent published papers or abstracts reporting results of student research, or click on recent TCU hardrock theses for examples of student research topics.

Recent Research Grants:

2005 National Science Foundation (Tectonics Program), "Using well-dated paleomagnetic poles from the Kalahari and Congo cratons to constrain Rodinia configurations and assembly of central Gondwana".

1999 National Science Foundation (Tectonics Program), "Constraints on Mesoproterozoic supercontinent assembly and plate dynamics: studies on the 1.1 Ga Umkondo large igneous province in southern Africa".

1995 National Science Foundation (Tectonics Program), "Constraints on Gondwana assembly: geologic and isotopic studies of the Pan-African Zambezi orogenic belt in southern Africa".

1995 Fulbright Research Scholarship (African Regional Research Program), "Geologic and isotopic studies of ancient mountain-building processes and crustal evolution in southern Africa".

1993 National Science Foundation (Tectonics Program), "Pluton emplacement in relation to Jurassic volcanic arc evolution and orogenesis in the Northern Sierra terrane, California".

1990 National Science Foundation (Polar Programs - Earth Sciences), "The tectonomagmatic setting of Early to Middle Jurassic bimodal volcanism in the Transantarctic Mountains".

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For questions about this page send email to Art Busbey
Page created 7/7/95 and last updated February 20, 2013 © Richard Hanson