Student Profile

Jackson School of Geosciences

Tomas N Capaldi

Tomas N Capaldi
Ph.D., Geoscience, University of Texas at Austin, expected 2019
B.S., Geology/Engineering Geology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2014


I am a fifth year PhD student, focusing on Cenozoic to modern tectonic evolution of the flat-slab region in western Argentina Andes. I study modern river networks using zircon U-Pb chronology to assess what factors are represented by sand provenance, such as: drainage area, variable erodibility, and zircon fertility of different source rocks. I use the modern river provenance as a baseline to reconstruct Cenozoic paleo-drainages during Andean mountain building and to differentiate the timing of shortening along various tectonic provinces. Once the timing of deformation is established, I will determine the role that Cenozoic flat-slab subduction has on these upper-plate processes and control on Andean orogenesis, magmatism, basin architecture,and drainage reorganization.

Current Research Projects

Sediment provenance in contractional orogens: The detrital zircon record from modern rivers in the Andean hinterland and foreland basin systems of western Argentina

Tracking Andean arc magmatism, crustal shortening, and sediment routing during a shift to flatslab subduction using the retroarc foreland basin record of western Argentina

Structural evolution of the thin-skinned Precordillera thrust front and basement involved Sierras Pampeanas uplifts, southern central Andes, Argentina

Spatial-temporal cycles of magmatism, orogenesis, and subduction along western South America

Post-graduate Research Grant - International Association of Sedimentologist (2018)

Muehlberger Graduate Fellowship in Tectonics and Structural Geology - Jackson School of Geosciences (2018)

Student Research Grant - Society for Sedimentary Geology (2017)

Graduate Research Fellowship: Honorable Mention - NSF (2016)

Outstanding Teaching Assistant - Jackson School of Geosciences (2015)

GSA Graduate Research Grant - Geological Society of America (2015)

Weimer Family Named Grant - American Association of Petroleum Geologist: Grants-in-Aid (2015)

Muehlberger Field Scholarship - Jackson School of Geosciences (2015)

President, GSEC (2016 - 2017)

Tracking Andean arc magmatism and crustal shortening during a shift to flat-slab subduction using detrital zircon geochronology from the retroarc foreland basin system of western Argentina (30.5 S), GSA Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA (2017)

Controls on modern sediment provenace in an active orogenic belt and foreland basin: Detrital zircon U-Pb age distributions for the Andes of western Argentina, GSA Annual Meeting, Denver, CO (2016)

U-Pb geochronology of modern river sands from the flat-slab segment of the southern central Andes, Argentina, 29-31 S: Implications for Neogene foreland and hinterland basin evolution, AGU, San Francisco, CA (2015)

IRSL Thermochronology of Yucaipa Ridge Block, San Bernardino Mountains, CA, New World Luminescence Conference, Logan, UT (2013)

Science, Y'all
My experience as Associate Instructor for the University of Texas field course

New Research Improves Understanding of Ancient Landscapes
Press release for recent modern river study of variable basin systems in Argentina