Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Geological Sciences

First Advisor

Lon Abbott

Second Advisor

Rebecca Flowers

Third Advisor

Charles Stern

Fourth Advisor

Sebastian Schmidt


Spatial patterns of the magnitude and rate of exhumation occurring during the late Miocene are examined using Apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) Thermochronology. AHe date-elevation data collected from the Whiterock pluton in the southwest Elk Range suggests that roughly 1 km of rock cooled through the Helium partial retention zone (HePRZ) from 13-8 Ma. The Whiterock AHe data is consistent with previous AHe thermochronology from the Elk Mountains, and suggests that the Elks experienced continuous exhumation from 15-7 Ma. Exhumation rates in the Elk Range are compared to the surrounding region in order to get a spatially integrated sense of the magnitude and rate of erosion in west-central Colorado from the late Miocene to the Present.