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  • Position: Assistant Professor
  • Office: WL-301
  • Phone: 848-445-0922

High precision isotope geochemistry and cosmochemistry; the integration of high precision isotope data and astrophysical modelling; and mass spectrometry (TIMS, LA-ICP-MS, L-ICP-MS).

Sherrell, Robert


  • B.A., Oberlin College
  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


  • Undergraduate: Environmental Geochemistry

Research Interests

  • Geochemistry of marine and fresh waters; paleochemical records in ice cores

Wright, James D.


  • Ph.D., M.Phil., Columbia University
  • M.S., University of South Carolina
  • B.S., Louisiana Tech University
  • B.S., Ouachita Baptist University


  • Undergraduate: Planet Earth (01:460:100), Major Events in Earth History (01:460:480)
  • Graduate:  Paleoceanography, Stable Isotopes in the Environment, Marine Geology

Research Interests

  • My research interest is understanding how past ocean circulation changes influenced climates over a variety of time scales.  Working with pre-Pleistocene sediments, I have reconstructed the deep-water circulation patterns in the North Atlantic for the past 25 million years.   Changes in North Atlantic deep circulation correlate with major climate changes that occurred during this time interval.  For example, decreases or shutdowns in the North Atlantic deep water source over the past 15 million years coincided with the initiation of small northern hemisphere ice sheets during the middle Miocene and their growth into the large ice sheets during the late Pliocene.  The cyclic behavior of these ice sheets has dominated global climate over the past 3 million years.  While the cold climates correspond to a weakened conveyor circulation, the warm climates of the early Pliocene occurred when the conveyor circulation was more vigorous than today.

    I am also working on late Pleistocene and Holocene projects.   One of the outstanding problems in millennial-scale variability in the North Atlantic over the past 80 thousand years is an accurate depiction of the surface salinity variations.  These should have a profound effect on the surface and deep water circulation patterns in the North Atlantic and heat budgets for the northern hemisphere.  Taking advantage of the different life cycles in multiple species of planktonic foraminifera , it appears that the interspecificss δ18O relationships reflect surface water salinity changes.  I am also working on reconstructing the marine climates along northwestern Peru.  Other workers have shown that there were profound changes in the marine fauna and flora as well as an evolution from grasslands to desert environments on land.  The stable isotope records from foraminifera, mollusks and organic matter should help to reconstruct differences in the mean annual and seasonality along coastal Peru.

My primary research tool is the analysis of stable oxygen and carbon isotopes in marine organisms, which record the history of sea surface temperature variations, ice volume changes, and reorganization of surface and deep-water circulation patterns.  In the spring of 1999, we installed a Micromass Optima mass spectrometer with a Multiprep device for the automated analysis of δ18O and δ13C values in carbonate samples and δ18O values in water samples.


Schlische, Roy W.

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  • Position: Undergraduate Program Director
  • Office: 234 Wright Geological Laboratory
  • Phone: (848) 445-6974
  • Email: schlisch@eps.rutgers.edu




  • B.A., Rutgers University
  • M.A., M.Phil, Ph.D., Columbia University


  • Undergraduate: Structural Geology & Geologic Maps, Oil & Gold: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (formerly Earth Resources and Global Economics), Tectonics and Regional Structural Geology
  • Graduate: Seminar in Extensional Tectonics, Advanced Tectonics, Modeling in Structural Geology: Geometric, Experimental & Numerical

Research Interests

The goal of my research is to understand: 1) the geometry, evolution and mechanics of normal-fault systems and fault-related extensional folds; and 2) the evolution and mechanics of continental rift systems and the development of passive margins. My approach is multi-faceted, incorporating field studies, scaled experimental modeling, and interpretation of seismic-reflection profiles. The results of my research are applicable to sedimentary, petroleum, and hydrogeologic systems and to seismic-hazard assessment.

Experimental Modeling Laboratory >>
Structure/Tectonics Group >>


  • Hanafi, B.R., Withjack, M.O., Durcanin, M.A., Syamsir, Z., and Schlische, R.W., 2020, Deformation of synrift salt with variable composition and ductility: Seismic expression in the Early Mesozoic Orpheus rift basin, offshore eastern Canada: Basin Research, in prep.
  • Baum, M.S., Schlische, R.W., Withjack, M.O., 2020, Experimental modeling of orthogonal and oblique basin inversion: Identifying structures that reflect the paleostrain state: AAPG Bulletin, in prep.
  • Klaser, M., Gross, J., Tindall, S., Schlische, R.W., and Potter, C., 2018, Europa’s ice tectonics: New insights from physical wax experiments with implications for subduction initiation and global resurfacing processes: Icarus, v. 321, p. 593–607.
  • Olsen, P.E., Withjack, M.O., Schlische, R.W., Pazzaglia, F., 2018, Field-trip guidebook: Temporal, tectonic, climatic, and environmental context of the Triassic-Jurassic rift system of eastern North America: Emerging concepts from the Newark rift basin: 83rd Annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists, Center Valley, PA, October 5-6, 2018, 64+ pp.
  • Withjack, M.O., Henza, A.A., and Schlische, R.W., 2017, 3D fault geometries and interactions within experimental clay models of multiphase extension: AAPG Bulletin, v. 101 (11), p. 1767-1789.
  • Olsen, P.E., Kinney, S.T., Zakharova, N.V., Schlische, R.W., Withjack, M.P., Kent, D.V., Goldberg, D.S., Slater, B.E., 2016, New insights on rift basin development and the geological carbon cycle, mass extinction, and carbon sequestration from outcrops and new core, drill holes and seismic lines from the northern Newark basin (New York and New Jersey). In Gates, A.E. (ed.), 88th Annual, New York State Geological Field Conference, Guidebook, Geologic Diversity in the New York Metropolitan Area, pp. 190-275.
  • Schreurs, G., Buiter, S.J.H., Boutelier, J., Burberry, C., Callot, J.-P., Cavozzi, C., Cerca, M., Chen, J.-H., Cristallini, E., Cruden, A.R., Cruz, L., Daniel, J.-M., Da Poian, G., Garcia, V.H., Gomes, C.J.S., Grall, C., Guillot, Y., Guzmán, C., Hidayah, T.N., Hilley, G., Klinkmüller, M., Koyi, H.A., Lu, C.-Y., Maillot, B., Meriaux, C., Nilfouroushan, F., Pan, C.-C., Pillot, D., Portillo, R., Rosenau, M., Schellart, W.P., Schlische, R.W., Take, A., Vendeville, B., Vergnaud, M., Vettori, M., Wang, S.-H., Withjack, M.O., Yagupsky, D., Yamada, Y., 2016, Benchmarking analog models of brittle wedges: Journal of Structural Geology, v 92, p. 116-139, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2016.03.005.
  • Whipp, P.S., Jackson, C.A.L., Schlische, R.W., Withjack, M.O., Gawthorpe, R.L., 2016, Spatial distribution and evolution of fault-segment boundary types in rift systems; observations from experimental clay models, in Childs, C., Holdsworth, R.E., Jackson, C.A.L., Manzocchi, T., Walsh, J.J., Yielding, G., The geometry and growth of normal faults: Geological Society of London Special Publication, 439, http://doi.org/10.1144/SP439.7.
  • Schlische, R.W., Groshong Jr., R.H., Withjack, M.O., and Hidayah, T.N., 2014, Quantifying the geometry, displacements, and subresolution deformation in thrust-ramp anticlines with growth and erosion: from models to seismic-reflection profile: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 69, p. 304-319. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2014.07.012]
  • Withjack, M.O., Schlische, R.W., Malinconico, M.L., and Olsen, P.E., 2013, Rift-basin development—lessons from the Triassic-Jurassic Newark basin of eastern North America, in Mohriak, W.U., Danforth, A., Post, P.J., Brown, D.E., Tari, G.C., Nemcock, M., and Sinha, S.T., editors, Conjugate Divergent Margins, Geological Society (London) Special Publication 369, p. 301-321. [first published online, 29 May 2012, DOI: 10.1144/SP369.13]
  • Withjack, M.O., Schlische, R.W., and Olsen, P.E., 2012, Development of the passive margin of eastern North America—Mesozoic rifting, igneous activity, and drifting, in Roberts, D.G., and Bally, A.W., eds., Regional Geology and Tectonics, Volume 1B—Phanerozoic Rift Systems and Sedimentary Basins: New York, Elsevier, p. 301-335. [DOI:10.1016/B978-0-444-56356-9.00012-2]
  • Groshong, R.H., Withjack, M.O., Schlische, R.W., and Hidayah, T.N., 2012, Bed length does not remain constant during deformation: recognition and why it matters: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 41, p. 86-97, 10.1016/j.jsg.2012.02.009.
  • Henza, A.A., Withjack, M.O., and Schlische, R.W., 2011, How do the properties of a pre-existing normal-fault population influence fault development during a subsequent phase of extension?: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 33, p. 1312-1324, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2011.06.010.
  • Syamsir, Z., Withjack, M.O., Durcanin, M.A., Schlische, R.W., and Monteverde, D.H., 2010, The Mesozoic Orpheus rift basin, offshore Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada: synrift and early postrift evolution of well-imaged North Atlantic rift basin: II Central & North Atlantic Conjugate Margins Conference, Lisbon, volume V, p. 279-283.
  • Faulkner, D., Jackson, C.A.L., Lunn, R.J., Schlische, R.W., Shipton, Z., Wibberly, C., and Withjack, M.O., 2010, A review of recent developments regarding the structure, mechanics and fluid-flow properties of fault zones: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 11, p. 1557-1575, doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2010.06.009.
  • Henza, A.A., Withjack, M.O., and Schlische, R.W., 2010, Normal-fault development during two phases of non-coaxial extensiion; an experimental study: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 11, p. 1656-1667, doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2009.07.007.
  • Withjack, M.O., Baum, M.S., and Schlische, R.W., 2010, Influence of preexisting fault fabric on inversion-related deformation: A case study of the inverted Fundy rift basin, southeastern Canada: Tectonics, v. 29, TC6004, 22 pages, doi:10.1029/2010TC002744.
  • Withjack, M.O., Schlische, R.W., and Baum, M.S., 2009, The extensional development of the Fundy rift basin, southeastern Canada: Geological Journal, v. 44, p. 631-651. doi: 10.1002/gj.1186. [Invited paper]
  • Schlische, R.W., and Withjack, M.O., 2009, Origin of fault domains and fault-domain boundaries (transfer zones and accommodation zones) in extensional provinces--result of random nucleation and self-organized fault growth: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 31, p. 910-925. doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2008.09.005
  • Baum, M.S., Withjack, M.O., Schlische, R.W., 2008, The ins and outs of buttress folds: examples from the Fundy rift basin, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada. In: Brown, D.E. (Ed.): Central Atlantic Conjugate Margins: Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, p. 53-61.
  • Withjack, M.O., Schlische, R.W., and Henza, A.A., 2007, Scaled experimental models of extension--dry sand vs. wet clay: Houston Geological Survey Bulletin, v. 49 (8), p. 31-49.
  • Fan, Y., Toran, L., and Schlische, R.W., 2007, Groundwater flow and groundwater-stream interaction in fractured and dipping sedimentary rocks: Insights from numerical models: Water Resources Research, v. 43, W01409, doi:10.1029/2006WR004864.
  • Withjack, M.O., and Schlische, R.W., 2006, Geometric and experimental models of extensional fault-bend folds: Geological Society (London) Special Publication 253, p. 285-305.
  • Schreurs, G., Buiter, S.J.H., Boutelier, D., Corti, G., Costa, E., Cruden, A.R., Daniel, J.-M., Hoth, S., Koyi, H., Kukowski, N., Lohrmann, J., Ravaglia, A., Schlische, R.W., Withjack, M.O., and Yamada, Y., Cavozzi, C., DelVentisetti, C., Elder Brady, J.A., Hoffmann-Rothe, A., Mengus, J.-M., Montanari, D., Nilfouroshan, F., 2006, Analogue benchmarking—results of shortening and extension experiments: Geological Society (London) Special Publication 253, p. 1-27.
  • Schlische, R.W., and Withjack, M.O., 2005, The early Mesozoic Birdsboro central Atlantic margin basin in the Mid-Atlantic region, eastern United States: Discussion: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 117, p. 823-828.
  • Schlische, R.W., and Withjack, M.O., 2005, Normal faults in the Passaic Formation at Haycock Mountain, in Gates, A.E., ed., Newark Basin—View from the 21st Century: 22nd Annual Meeting of the Geological Association of New Jersey, Field Guide and Proceedings, p. 120-124.
  • Withjack, M.O., and Schlische, R.W., 2005, A review of tectonic events on the passive margin of eastern North America, in Post, P., ed., Petroleum Systems of Divergent Continental Margin Basins: 25th Bob S. Perkins Research Conference, Gulf Coast Section of SEPM, p. 203-235.
  • Withjack, M.O., and Schlische, R.W., 2004, Geometric and experimental models of extensional fault-bend folds: Bollettino di Geofisica, Teorica ed Applicata, v. 45, no. 1, p. 287-290.
  • Schlische, R.W., 2004, Structural and Climatic Controls on Sedimentation in the Newark Rift Basin--Field Guide to Classic Outcrops Along and Near the Delaware River, NJ and PA: National Association of Geoscience Teachers Eastern Section Meeting, Newark, NJ.
  • Clifton, A.E., and Schlische, R.W., 2003, Fracture populations on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland: Comparisons with experimental clay models of oblique rifting: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 108, No. B2, 10.1029/2001JB000635, 17 pp.
  • Schlische, R.W., 2003, Progress in understanding the structural geology, basin evolution, and tectonic history of the eastern North American rift system, in LeTourneau, P.M., and Olsen, P.E., eds., The Great Rift Valleys of Pangea: New York, Columbia University Press.
  • Ackermann, R.V., Schlische, R.W., Patiño, L.C., and Johnson, L.A., 2003, A Lagerstätte of rift-related tectonic structures from the Solite Quarry, Dan River/Danville rift basin, in LeTourneau, P.M., and Olsen, P.E., eds., The Great Rift Valleys of Pangea: New York, Columbia University Press.
  • Schlische, R.W., Withjack, M.O., and Olsen, P.E., 2002, Relative timing of CAMP, rifting, continental breakup, and inversion: tectonic significance, in Hames, W.E., McHone, G.C., Renne, P.R., and Ruppel, C.R., eds., The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province: Insights from Fragments of Pangea: American Geophysical Union Monograph 136, p. 33-59.
  • Schlische, R.W., Withjack, M.O., and Eisenstadt, G., 2002, An experimental study of the secondary deformation produced by oblique-slip normal faulting: AAPG Bulletin, v. 86, p. 885-906.
  • Ackermann, R.V., Schlische, R.W., and Withjack, M.O., 2001, The geometric and statistical evolution of normal fault systems: an experimental study of the effects of mechanical layer thickness on scaling laws: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 23, p. 1803-1819.
  • Clifton, A.E., and Schlische, R.W., 2001, Nucleation, growth and linkage of faults in oblique rift zones: results from experimental clay models: Geology, v. 29, p. 455-458.
  • Clifton, A.E., Schlische, R.W., Withjack, M.O., and Ackermann, R.V., 2000, Influence of rift obliquity on fault-population systematics: results of clay modeling experiments: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 22, p. 1491-1509.