Welcome to the TeST Laboratory at MSU!

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The Tectonic Sedimentology and Thermochronology (TeST) Laboratory focuses on the evolution of convergent margins by reconstructing paleo-depositional environments and the tectono-thermal history of sedimentary basins and ancient orogens. We are a field based research group, with active studies in Tibet, Montana, and California. In addition to field based techniques, we apply analytical techniques such as U-Pb geochronology, (U-Th)/He and fission track thermochronology, and sandstone petrography to study the geologic past!

RECENT NEWS (2019-Present):

Student Scholarships (March 2021): Congratulations to TeST lab graduate students on earning several scholarships and honors this Spring! Chris Baird was awarded the 2021 Montana Geological Society Scholarship to work on the LaHood Conglomerate, Montana; Mariah Romero was awarded a 2021 SEPM scholarship to work on thermal history of the Great Valley forearc basin, California; Chance Ronemus received Honorable Mention for his GRFP proposal on southwest Montana!

New Publication (March 2021): Check out new work in Tectonics on the exhumation of the Shanxi Rift, led by recent UA PhD Christopher Clinkscales. Great to see field work from a few years back incorporated into a major regional study.

New Publication (November 2020): Interested in learning more about thick-skinned, basement involved deformation in southwest Montana? Check our my recent summary of the work of Garber et al. (2020) and others in my Tectonics Commentary: New timing constraints for the onset of Laramide deformation in southwest Montana challenge our understanding of the development of a thick-skinned structural style during flat-slab subduction, Tectonicsdoi:10.1029/2020TC006193

New Publication (October 2020): New work on Cretaceous trench-basins in Southern Tibet, in collaboration with Andrew Laskowski, MSU Department of Earth Science 2020 Top Senior Misia Zilinsky, and colleagues from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research at the Chinese Academy of Science: “Sedimentology and provenance of newly identified Upper Cretaceous trench basin strata, Dênggar Southern Tibet: Implications for the development of the Eurasian margin prior to India-Asia collision”, can be found here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bre.12521.

National Science Foundation (NSF) award: Dr. Orme and her collaborators were awarded a NSF-GEO-NERC grant titled “Collaborative Research: Impact of the Plio-Pleistocene Transition on Provenance and Sediment Routing from the Himalaya to the Deep-Sea Bengal Fan”. This project is led by Dr. Michael Blum (Kansas) and in collaboration with Dr. Yani Najman (Lancaster, UK), Dr. James Gleason (Michigan) and Dr. Kurt Sundell (Arizona).

New Publication (August 2020): New, student led paper on the Bridger Range, southwest Montana. Congrats to MS student Chance Ronemus on his first, first-author paper! The other authors are undergraduates at MSU–go Bobcats! You can download the Open Access paper here: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/gsabulletin/article/doi/10.1130/B35628.1/589710/Mesoproterozoic-Early-Cretaceous-provenance-and 

New Publication (August 2020): Check out new research on the Indus Basin sedimentary rocks in Ladakh, India: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1029/2020TC006333 

Outstanding Reviewer: Devon A. Orme was recognized as an AGU Outstanding Reviewer of 2019. Check out the list of recognized reviewers here: https://eos.org/agu-news/in-appreciation-of-agus-outstanding-reviewers-of-2019.

New Publication/Field Mapping Resource (May 2020): Check out this activity Dr. Andrew Laskowski and I developed as part of the 2020 MSU Geology field camp, which moved online due to COVID-19: https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/online_field/activities/237159.html 

New Publication (April 2020): Check out a new paper in Global and Planetary Change: “Resetting Southern Tibet: The Serious Challenge of Obtaining Primary Records of Paleoaltimetry”. This work is in collaboration with Dr. Jay Quade, Dr. Ryan Leary, Matthew Dettinger and others! doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2020.103194. 

National Science Foundation (NSF) award (January 2020): Dr. Orme was awarded a NSF CAREER award from the NSF Tectonics division. The project is titled “CAREER: Deciphering the mechanisms of forearc basin formation by engaging undergraduate and middle school students in field and analytical geoscience research” and will support research in the western US and Tibet and the training of multiple graduate students. In addition, it will establish an undergraduate research program that seeks to broaden the Earth Science community through sustained engagement with Native American and first-generation undergraduate students. Check out more on the NSF website.

New Publication (August 2019): Check out a new paper in Geology: “A Late Cretaceous trans-arc river that drained the proto-Tibetan Plateau”. This work is in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Laskowski (MSU), Dr. Ding Lin and Dr. Fulong Cai (Chinese Academy of Sciences). doi:10.1130/G46xxx.1 (Open access).

New Publication (June 2019): Check out my new paper in collaboration with Dr. Kathy Surpless: “The birth of a forearc: The basal Great Valley Group, California, USA”, Geology, doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G46283.1 (Open access).


DAAD Fellowship: Dr. Orme was awarded a fellowship through Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Program) to work at the University of Potsdam this Summer. I will be collaborating with Dr. Edward Sobel on apatite fission track thermochronology. Danke dir DAAD!

Undergraduate Awards: Congratulations to Cassidy Stegner who received a NAGT scholarship to support her geology field camp adventures this summer!

HKT 2019: We are hosting the 34th Himalaya-Karakorum-Tibet workshop at MSU June 4-7, 2019! Check out the website for more information: https://hkt2019bozeman.com

Graduate Student award: Congratulations to Mariah Romero, who was awarded the 2018-2019 Richard Chambers Memorial Scholarship from the Northern California Geological Society. and a GSA Graduate Student Research Grant! These awards will help fund Mariah’s summer field season!

GSA 2018: Dr. Orme will be presenting new research from southern Tibet and southwest Montana at the GSA annual meeting! Come check out our new findings!

Undergraduate awards: Congratulations to Chance Ronemus, who received grants from the MSU Undergraduate Scholar Program and Montana Academy of Sciences to support his research on the provenance of Pz-Mz rocks exposed in the Bridger Range, MT.

New Publication (August 2018): Check out new research on the Great Valley forearc basin in GSA Special Publication 540 honoring Dr. William R. Dickinson. See Orme and Graham (2018): https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/books/book/2118.

OLD NEWS (2017 and prior):

New Publication (December 2017): Check out new research in Geoscience Frontiers: Burial and exhumation history of the Xigaze Forearc, Yarlung Suture Zone, Tibet, Geoscience Frontiers, doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2017.11.011. Open access is provided by China University of Geosciences (Beijing).

New Publication (August 2016): Check out exciting new research in EPSL: Long-term tectonothermal history of Laramide basement from zircon-He age-eU correlations, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.07.046. The article is available as open access until October 2016.

New Publication (August 2016): Check out our new article in JSR: Basin Analysis of the Albian-Santonian Xigaze forearc, Lazi region, south-central Tibet,  doi:10.2110/jsr.2016.59.

Traveling Geologist: Interested in what field work entails? Check out Dr. Orme’s blog post on Traveling Geologist: “A contrast of field work in Tibet and Patagonia”.