2009 University Distinguished MS Thesis Award

Congratulations to Jackie Langille, who has been awarded the University's 2008-2009 Distinguished MS Thesis Award! The title of Jackie's thesis is Middle Crustal Ductile Deformation Patterns in Southern Tibet: Insights from Vorticity Studies in Mabja Dome. She completed her work under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Lee.

Jackie tested a recently proposed model of middle crustal flow in the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau. This new thermal-mechanical channel-flow model predicts that rocks in the middle crust (depths of 15-30 km below the Earth’s surface and temperatures of ~350-700°C) underneath southern Tibet and the high Himalaya flowed like a fluid on time scales of millions of years.

To test the channel flow hypothesis, Jackie was the first researcher to document ductile deformation patterns recorded in middle crustal rocks now exposed at the surface in southern Tibet. One of the remarkable aspects of her research was the breadth and scope of analytical techniques used. To document deformation patterns, Jackie combined data from five investigative studies, including kinematic, mineral assemblage, mineral texture, quartz lattice preferred orientation, and rigid grain rotation analyses.

Jackie's thesis has been published in the Journal of Structural Geology. Jackie will finish her PhD Spring 2012 at University of Tennessee, Knoxville and start a tenure-track faculty position at University of North Carolina-Asheville.