Welcome! I'm Daniel, and I'm a PhD student here in the tectonics group at Rice. Right now, my research covers several related topics within tectonics.
Intraplate Deformation: One of the initial simplifying assumptions of the plate tectonics was that tectonic plates are rigid; however, there is evidence to suggest that the situation is a bit more complicated than that. Building on work from our group examining plate nonrigidity brought on by thermal contraction in the oceanic lithosphere, I'm investigating the strain rate magnitude produced when a tectonic plate is forced to conform to a changing radius of curvature as it changes latitude on the nonspherical Earth, to compare it to other sources of strain and determine its importance in the overall picture of intraplate deformation.
Pacific Plate APW: Several previous studies from the global tectonics group have established a reliable method of determining paleopoles using marine sea surface and aeromagnetic magnetic anomaly data. This method allows a thorough exploration of Pacific plate APW, and I'm currently engaged in expanding that history to include anomalies 20-24, during the formation of the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend.
Pacific-Farallon Spreading Rates: The same magnetic anomaly profiles used to find paleopoles also provide an opportunity to determine spreading rates precisely, so for the same period I'm also engaged in producing a spreading rate history for the Pacific-Farallon ridge.
When I do have spare time between those projects, I enjoy relaxing by reading just about anything (but particularly history, philosophy and theology, popular science, and a healthy dose of science fiction and fantasy), running, and occasionally trying my hand at bowyering (albeit without much success so far).