Michael Cuilik '18

Summer Research Scholar with Jeff Rahl, Summer 2017

I spent this summer in Lexington doing research for my honor's thesis with Professor Jeff Rahl. My thesis is an expansion on previous work completed by Bill Barnhart ('08) where he analyzed quartz crystallographic preferred orientations (CPO) and microstructures to infer deformation history of the Maggia Nappe in the Swiss Alps. I will be adapting this project to integrate magnitudes more data collected through electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) using the SEM. When Bill did his thesis back in 2008, the department did not have an SEM yet so he was limited to a weekend for data collection via EBSD. With more data I hope to be able to contribute to the discoveries Bill made with his work and potentially be able to infer in detail a deformation history of this region of the Swiss Alps. During my time this summer I battled through some issues with the SEM and was able to collect enough data to draft an abstract for the GSA annual meeting this fall. Our initial interpretation of the data is that this region exhibits characteristics of static recrystallization post-deformation. We also suggest that the crystal plastic deformation that formed the shear zones of the Maggia Nappe occurred around 650-675 ˚C, consistent with other published literature.

Outside of work, I have been spending time relaxing by the river with friends and taking in as much Nationals baseball as I can. I have also been adjusting to life as a dog owner after adopting my rescue lab Sadie.

Summer Research Scholars
Geology Department's Summer Research and Internships page
Funding for research projects