Paul Low Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology

Paul Low

Science Addition 115
540.458.8271
lowp@wlu.edu
Website

Education

Ph.D. Geosciences, 2009, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts Dissertation: Characterization of magmatic and diffusional processes in fractionally differentiated ultramafic systems: examples from the Grand Canyon, USA.

M.S. Geology, 2004, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts Thesis: Petrology and petrography of the mile 91 peridotite, Grand Canyon, USA: major silicate phases, microtextural analysis, and the interpretation of Proterozoic setting.

B.S. Biology (Natural Resources) and Geology, 1998, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Research

My research is concerned, for the most part, with determining the composition of (mostly) natural and (sometimes) human-altered materials (rocks, minerals, soil, water, et cetera) and understanding the natural (or anthropogenic) processes that could have resulted in some interesting aspect or aspects of the observed composition. On the high-temperature end of this research, I observe the composition and textures of minerals and rocks and use this information to understand complex interactions at variable conditions of pressure, temperature, and oxygen fugacity between different minerals and the melts that produced them. I am particularly interested in the way that petrologic systems that produce mafic and ultramafic rocks function during differentiation processes such as partial melting, fractional crystallization, and reactive percolation and how these primary crystallization effects can be distinguished from the effects of post-igneous (secondary) processes. On the low-temperature end of things, I am interested in hydrosphere-lithosphere interaction, particularly in how human activity affects soil composition and water quality and ultimately how these effects, if negative, can be minimized or mitigated promote a healthy biosphere.

Teaching

GEOL 100: General Geology with
Field Emphasis (F09, F10, F12)

GEOL 101: General Geology (W11, W12, W13, W14)

GEOL 105: Earth Lab: Resources and Consequences (S11)

GEOL 150: Water Resources (W10 W14)

GEOL 197: Economic Geology (W12)

GEOL 211: Earth Materials I: Rocks and Minerals (W10, F13)

GEOL 231: Environmental Field Methods (S10, S12, S14)

GEOL 240: Hydrology (W11, W13)

GEOL 311: Earth Materials II: Geochemistry (F11)

Selected Publications

*indicates student coauthor

*Schultz, L., Low, P. C., 2011. Geochemical heterogeneity in mantle xenoliths of the Western Grand Canyon. Abstract presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.

*Hatfield, M. E., Low, P. C., Devlin, S., 2011. Ornamental Planting Restoration at Jefferson's Poplar Forest Through XRF and ICP-OES Analysis of Disturbed Soils. Abstract presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.

Low, P. C., *Schultz, L., *Stier, N., 2011. Iddingzitized olivine in mantle xenoliths: evidence for (really) early alteration. Abstract presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.

*Reimi, M. A. S., 2011. Using Bulk Rock Geochemistry to Understand Crystallization History in the Holcomb Rock Dam Pluton, Virginia, USA. Washington and Lee University Research Conference for Science, Society, and the Arts.

*Hatfield, M. E., 2011. Ornamental Planting Restoration at Jefferson's Poplar Forest. Washington and Lee University Research Conference forScience, Society, and the Arts.

Low, P. C., Flowers, E. L., *Stier, N. E., Seaman , S. J., 2010. Understanding mineral textures, lithologic relations, and pluton wall-rock interactions through bulk and mineral compositions at Holcomb Rock Dam, Virginia. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 42: 647.

*Stier, N.E., Low, P. C., 2010. Xenoliths from the Western Grand Canyon: a glimpse of the modern and proterozoic lower crust. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 42: 54.

Low, P. C., Seaman, S. J., Williams, M. L., Karlstrom, K. E., 2009. The origins of dunite and harzburgite enclaves in layered cumulates of the Nintyone Mile Creek Canyon Peridotite, Grand Canyon, USA. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 41: 115.

Low, P. C., 2009. Characterization of magmatic and diffusional processes in fractionally differentiated ultramafic systems: examples from the Grand Canyon, USA. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA, 253p.

Low, P. C., Seaman, S. J., Karlstrom, K. E., Williams, M. L., 2009. Delicate oscillatory zoning in pyroxene preserved through variation in the clouding intensity of exsolved oxided: an insight into mafic-ultramafic magma chamber dynamics. Geological Society of America, 2009 Northeast Section Meeting- Abstracts with Programs, 41: 31.

Low, P. C., Seaman, S. J., Jercinovic, M. J., Dyar, M. D., Karlstrom, K. E., 2006. Compositional and textural evidence of an igneous origin for olivine coronas in lherzolite from Mile 91 Canyon. Geological Society of America, 2006 National Meeting- Abstracts with Programs, 38: 295.

Low, P. C., 2006. Petrology and petrography of the Mile 91 peridotite, Grand Canyon, USA: mineral assemblages, microtextural analysis, and the interpretation of proterozoic tectonic setting. Master’s Thesis, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA, 105p.

Low, P. C., Dyar, M. D., Seaman, S. J., Delaney, J. S., Oxidation state of iron in feldspars from felsic to intermediate volcanic rocks as an indicator of magma oxygen fugacity. AGU 2005 fall meeting Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 86: V23B-04.

Low, Paul, Seaman, S. J., Jercinovic, M. J., Williams, M. L., 2004. Inclusions in inherited olivine crystals in the Mile 91 Peridotite, Grand Canyon, USA: geochemical evidence for early fluid interaction. 32nd International Geological Congress Abstracts with Programs, G01.04.

Low, P. C., Seaman, S. J., Jercinovic, M. J., Williams, M. L., 2003. Geochemical evidence for pulsed magma and fluid interaction in the Mile 91 Peridotite, Grand Canyon, USA; implications for interpretation of Proterozoic tectonic setting. Geological Society of America, 2003 Annual Meeting- Abstracts with Programs, 35: 321.

Low, P. C., Seaman, S. J., Karlstrom, K. E., Williams, M. L., 2002. Proterozoic ultramafic rocks in southwestern North America; distinguishing ophiolites from arc cumulates. Geological Society of America, 2002 Annual Meeting- Abstracts with Programs, 34: 181.

Low, Paul C., Buczkowski, Deb; Griffith, William A.; Kopera, Joseph P.; Lewis, John; Mahan, Kevin H.; Scheltema, Konrad; Weiss, Greg; Williams, Michael L., 2002. Relative timing of deformation and magmatism in the Moretown Formation in western Massachusetts. Geological Society of America, Northeastern Section, 37th Annual Meeting- Abstracts with Programs, 34: 76.

Fruchey, B. L., Low, P. C., Armbruster, J. R., Barber, T. M., Dryburgh, David V., Fewless, T. A., Hein, Matthew C., Kesl, A. J., Losey, A. B., McDonald, M. A., Stahl, Stephen D., 1998. Analysis of the waveforms of the 15 October central Chile coast earthquake recorded at Central Michigan University. Abstracts of papers presented; Annual meetings of the Michigan Academy of Science. Duke, Kathleen F. (Michigan Academy of Science, Ann Arbor MI, United States), Michigan Academician, 30: 253.

Barber, T., Fewless, T., Fruchey, B., Hupy, J., Losey, A., Low, P., Mason, J., Thomas, A., West, T., 1998. Wetlands evolution through natural and anthropogenic mechanisms at the Bruder Bluff site on the Chippewa River; Isabella County, Michigan. Geological Society of America 32nd annual meeting; North-Central Section and associated societies- abstracts with programs, 30: 4.