Dr. Alexander Rohrmann
Lipid Biomarkers; Stable Isotopes; Tectonics; Terrestrial Sedimentology; Surface Processes; Tectonic Geomorphology; Geochronology
My interest focuses on the complex feedbacks between tectonic, surface and climate processes. I take a field-based approach that entails geological mapping, structural and basin analysis, geochemistry of stable isotopes combined with thermochronology, and cosmogenic nuclide dating to solve different aspects of spatiotemporal patterns of surface processes, hydrology and their tectonic and/or climatic forcing mechanisms. Especially, I am interested in how plateaus form and what impact they have on controlling regional to global climate patterns, hydrology and biodiversity.
Aims of my research efforts to date include: (1) quantifying the dynamic relationships between tectonics and climate with respect to the development of mountain belts, plateaus and biodiversity, (2) deciphering process rates at a variety of time scales to better understand the discrepancies between long-term (i.e., geological) and short-term process rates of deformation, erosion and hydrology (3) studying active and inactive thrust belts to better understand changes of tectonic style, timing of deformation, uplift and erosion of foreland systems, (4) understanding the role of climate and vegetation in shaping mountain belts, (5) determine the rates of wind and fluvial erosion processes, (6) the late Cenozoic climatic and tectonic evolution of Asia and South America.
Most recently, I have been investigating tectonic and ecohydrologic conditions in NW Argentina during orographic barrier uplift and plateau growth, and studied the role of wind and fluvial erosion in central Asia. In the future I hope to investigate more deeply terrestrial archives that hold valuable information of past tectonic activity, and its forcing of climatic and paleohydrologic conditions.