Max Ehrenfels

Max Ehrenfels
B.S., Geology/Mineralogy, Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, 2018
M.S., Tectonics/Geochronology, Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, 2021
Ph.D., Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, expected 2026

Mailcode: C1160


The aim of my research is to improve established methods and develop new methods to extract thermal history information using the (U-Th)/He decay system in zircon. An initial project will produce new mineral standards to overcome analytical shortcomings in the currently used laser ablation (U-Th)/He protocol. This will lay the groundwork for further investigating fundamental basics such as the diffusion behavior of helium in zircon. With a better understanding of the diffusion mechanisms of He in zircon, we then hope to develop a method for the recovery of thermal histories by laser depth profiling. The ultimate goal of my research is to improve the precision of low-temperature thermal information to better constrain tectonic processes such as exhumation.