Faculty Experts

Christopher A. Scholz

Professor of Earth Sciences

Dr. Scholz’s research focuses on recovering records of past climate from lake basins, and on the sedimentary basin analysis of extensional systems, with emphasis on lacustrine basins. Current research efforts are concentrated on the large lakes of tropical Africa and the Finger Lakes of Central New York. Lake basins contain some of the highest quality archives of climate change on the continents, and new drill core records from the low-latitude lakes of Africa are revealing new details about the Pleistocene record of climate change.

The world’s large rift valley lakes are outstanding laboratories for understanding the interaction of tectonic, climatic, and depositional processes, and are particularly useful for developing models for hydrocarbon exploration in ancient rift systems. These large, deep lakes contain thick accumulations of sediment dating back millions of years, and are among the best places on the continents for reconstructing past climates. Recent field programs have involved scientific drilling in tropical lake basins, the recovery of high-resolution sediment cores from lakes, and the imaging of sedimentary lake basins at various scales, using seismic reflection datasets techniques.