Cam DeSilva

Graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

About Me

I'm currently a second-year masters student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My advisor is Dr. Brad Singer, and I work in the WiscAr 40Ar/39Ar geochronology lab. My masters thesis is on the petrology and mineralogy of the Playas Blancas-Negras eruption from the Antillanca Volcanic Complex, Southern Volcanic Zone, Chile. This project is part of the Ice Forcing of Arc Magma Plumbing Systems international NSF project.

I earned my B.S. in Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I completed my senior thesis on low temperature (U-Th)/He thermochronology on the Beartooth Mountains in Montana under Dr. William Guenthner and Dr. Jenna Kaempfer.

My Research

(In Progress): Petrologic Evolution of the Antillanca Group Volcanic Field

(In Progress) Studying how the petrology and mineralogy of the Antillanca Group volcanoes have changed over the past ~100ka. Future research will involve 40Ar/39Ar dating on the different eruptions from Antillanca and the Puyehue Volcanic field to the North and using this data to test how glacial loading and unloading has affected the magma plumbing system and eruptions.

(July, 2020) My senior thesis on a long term thermal history of the Beartooth Mountains in Montana. This models the thermal history of the last ~2Ga of the Beartooth Mountains with (U-Th)/He thermochronology. If you’re interested in zircon thermochronology give it a read!

(Feb, 2020) A research poster on the preliminary results from my senior thesis work. Presented at the University of Illinois 2020 SESE Research Review.

(July, 2019) Here's my (first ever) poster of my work analyzing the structure and faults of the Santa Rosalia Basin in Baja California. This is a product from the Baja Basins IRES, 2019.

  • Procedures for zircon and apatite U-Th/He picking, packing and degassing

  • Operating a He noble gas spectrometer with Nd:YAG lasing systems

  • Scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging techniques

  • Constructing balanced cross sections and geologic maps from detailed field observations and interpretations

  • Creating scientific figures from Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

  • Standard optical microscopy techniques

Technical Experience

Research Interests

  • Geochronology & Thermochronology

    • Making the highest possible precision measurements in 40Ar/39Ar geochronology

    • Using high-precision geochronologic data for novel interpretations

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

    • How do volcanoes and their magma plumbing systems evolve in active volcanoes?

    • When and how do injections of basaltic magma trigger eruptions?

    • How do the composition of different mineral phases record the petrologic growth and magma storage conditions in volcanoes?

  • Volcanology and Glacial Geology

    • How do volcanoes and magma plumbing systems react to glacial loading and unloading?

    • How did volcanoes and ice sheets interact during retreat at the Last Glacial Maximum? What was the glacial morphology through time?