Carmala Garzione

2009 Regional Award Winner — Faculty

Carmala Garzione

Current Position:
Professor & Chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences / Director, University of Rochester Center for Energy and Environment

University of Rochester

Geology & Geophysics

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Tectonics, sedimentology, geochemistry



PhD, Geosciences, University of Arizona
MS, Geosciences, University of Arizona
BS, Geology, University of Maryland

Carmala Garzione's research on mountains and climate evolution has taken her from the Himalayan-Tibetan mountain belt in Asia to the Andes Mountains in South America. Her pioneering methods of measuring the elevation of ancient mountain ranges has allowed her to examine the tectonic processes that build broad high elevation plateaus. Her work in the Andes has demonstrated that the surface uplift of mountains can occur much faster than was traditionally believed by geologists-by several kilometers in as little as a few million years.

Dr. Garzione’s sedimentary basin and paleoclimate research in the Tibetan Plateau has evaluated the timing of surface uplift and the processes that have led to the outward growth of the Plateau. Understanding the regional growth history of the Tibetan Plateau provides insights into the role of the Plateau in global climate cooling over the past 50 million years of Earth history.

"The overarching goals of my research are to understand the tectonic and geodynamic processes that build large mountain belts and the influence these mountain belts have on regional and global climate."

Key Publications:

  1. Garzione, C.N., Auerbach, D., Smith, J.-S., Passey, B., Eiler, J., Rosario, J, and Jordan, T. Clumped isotope evidence for diachronous surface cooling of the Altiplano and pulsed surface uplift of the Central Andes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2014
  2. Hough, B., Garzione, C.N., Zhicai Wang, Lease, R.O., Burbank, D.W. and Yuan Daoyang. Stable isotope evidence for topographic growth and basin segmentation: Implications for the evolution of the NE Tibetan plateau. Geological Society of America Bulletin. 2011  
  3. Garzione, C.N., Hoke, G.D., Libarkin, J.C., Withers, S., MacFadden, B.J., Eiler, J.M., Ghosh, P., Mulch, A. Rise of the Andes. Science. 2008
  4. Garzione, C.N., Dettman, D.L., Quade, J., DeCelles, P.G., and Butler, R.F. High times on the Tibetan Plateau: Paleoelevation of the Thakkhola Graben. Nepal. Geology. 2000

Other Honors:

2010 Georgen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
2008-2009 AAPG Distinguished Lecturer
2008 Geological Society of America Fellow
2007 Donath Medal, Geological Society of America Young Scientist Award
2007 University of Maryland Geology Alumni Award          
2007 University of Arizona Geosciences Alumni Achievement Award

In the Media:

Taking the pulse of mountain formation in the Andes. Phys. org. Apr 21, 2014
Mountains could have growth spurts. ABC Science. June 6, 2008