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About Susan Swapp

My principal area of petrologic research involves the elucidation of metamorphic reactions in contact and regionally metamorphosed rocks of a wide range of bulk compositions. For most rocks, more than one potential reaction can occur between two pressure (P)-temperature (T) points, and recognition of the reaction(s) that occur often places significant constraints on the (P, T, time) path followed by the rocks of interest. These constraints are independent of assumptions of preservation of mineral compositions through varying pressure and temperature conditions and are therefore helpful in evaluating the validity of other thermobarometric methods in a given suite of rocks. Recognition of reactions and stoichiometries is also useful in evaluating temporal relations between deformation and metamorphism, and can be helpful in understanding what variations in physical and/or chemical conditions may have been critical in causing reaction progress.
I am presently interested in:
Determining reactions controlling the appearance of pyroxene and the disappearance of amphiboles in prograde metamorphism in suites of amphibolites from low, medium, and high P-T gradients; and
Determining the controlling reactions and processes in prograde contact metamorphism of banded iron formations from the contact aureole of the Duluth gabbro in Minnesota.
Methods involved in these studies involve fieldwork, petrographic analysis of textures and modal abundances of phases, extensive microprobe studies of mineral compositions, and calculation of reaction stoichiometries.
In addition, I am responsible for the electron probe microanalyzer, scanning electron microscopes, and x-ray diffraction facilities in the department. Collectively these instruments represent the state of the art in microbeam analysis, supporting a wide range of research projects from nearly all areas of investigation within the geology department and the university at large. A formal graduate-level class in instrument techniques is annually, and the facilities are readily available with full technical support to all users, undergraduate through faculty, throughout the department.


Present Senior Research Scientist, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming


Contact Information

Office Phone: 307-766-2513
P.O. Box 3006
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3006
Office: ESB 3026


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