Karst Development in Western Egypt
To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, might be the truth. Everyone loves a mystery, and Dr. Barbara Tewksbury has a lovely one. In limestones of Egypt’s Western Desert, she has discovered a network of synclines that are developed over tens of thousands of square kilometers. At first you’d think they are tectonic, but you’d be wrong. They are sag structures, but what caused the sag? A variety of subsurface mechanisms are possible, but all the common ones have problems when applied to the Western Desert synclines. So, what about hypogene karst? While these synclines are developed over a truly enormous area, what she and her co-workers currently know about the network is better explained by hypogene speleogenesis than by any other model considered to date. You are invited to help solve the mystery, see why other mechanisms have been rejected, and suggest if hypogene processes may be solution or if there are other possibilities to consider.
Barbara Tewksbury is Professor of Geosciences at Hamilton College, where she has been on the faculty for over 35 years and currently holds the Upson Chair. She is a structural geologist, and her most recent research has been in Iceland and Egypt. She is lead PI on the NSF-funded Desert Eyes Project to study the nature and origin of enigmatic bedrock structures in the Western Desert of Egypt. For the past six years, she has also been one of a small number of classroom and field instructors for NASA astronaut geology training and has also been part of NASA analog field studies for human planetary surface exploration.
Tewksbury has played a leadership role in the national geoscience education community for over 15 years and has given dozens of workshops to faculty in departments across the country and abroad. She is co-PI on the decade-long NSF-funded project On the Cutting Edge, a national professional development program to improve undergraduate geoscience education. Tewksbury is a past president of the American Geosciences Institute and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. She was named New York State Professor of the Year in 1997 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and was the 2004 recipient of Neil Miner Award for exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu