Dr. Dallas Abbott

Adjunct Research Scientist, Marine and Polar Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Columbia Climate School

103 Oceanography
61 Route 9W
PO Box 1000
Palisades, NY 10964


Dallas Abbott has worked in the areas of Marine Geology, Geophysics, Precambrian Geology, and Impact Geology. Over the past 13 years, Abbott has developed the microtechniques necessary to study the fine debris from oceanic impacts. Deep-sea impacts pose several problems. The first is a very restricted sample size compared to subaerial impacts. The second is a lack of large quartz grains in most settings, resulting in a reduced abundance of or no shocked quartz. Her collaborators and she have developed microtechniques to study oceanic impacts. They use the scanning electron microscope and analyses of thin sections of tiny grains to find and confirm impact ejecta.

Abbott has also learned how to separate out particulates from ice cores at ages of suspected Holocene impacts. They measured the highest concentration ever of marine diatoms in the GISP2 ice core. The diatoms are low latitude and originate from a source on a continental shelf with high biological productivity. Several other types of dust, including micrometer sized CaCO3 crystals, accompany the diatoms. The latter may have caused a dust veil and climate downturn that lasted for 18 months (Feb. 536 to June 537 AD). Some dust with both substantial Ni and K may be impact ejecta. They are still developing these microtechniques but they have already yielded some important scientific results. By combining proxies for continental dust with historical accounts of unusual dust storms, they have managed to date their ice core samples to within a calendar year. This allows us to tie our scientific results into the historical record-a mix that should attract students of both Earth Science and History. One accomplishment is documenting oldest primary native Fe ever found. Abbott and her collaborators found 1.6 Ga native Fe in the Chaibasa Formation in India. This is the worlds oldest primary native Fe by over a billion years.


Only select publications listed below
Name Published Date
What Are the Origins of V-Shaped (Chevron) Dunes in Madagascar? The Case for Their Deposition by a Holocene Megatsunami 2017
New historical records and relationships among 14C production rates, abundance and color of low latitude auroras and sunspot abundance 2016
New historical records and relationships among ¹⁴C production rates, abundance and color of low latitude auroras and sunspot abundance 2016
Calendar-year dating of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core from the early sixth century using historical, ion, and particulate data 2014
What caused terrestrial dust loading and climate downturns between A.D. 533 and 540? 2014
The character of the Moho and lower crust within Archean cratons and the tectonic implications 2013
Exotic Grains in a Core from Cornwall, NY - Do They Have an Impact Source? 2010
Mega Tsunami of the World Oceans: Chevron Dune Formation, Micro-Ejecta, and Rapid Climate Change as the Evidence of Recent Oceanic Bolide Impacts 2009
Heat flow from the Southeast Indian Ridge flanks between 80°E and 140°E: Data review and analysis 2008
Burckle abyssal impact crater: Did this impact produce a global deluge? 2005
Implications of the Temporal Distribution of High‐Mg Magmas for Mantle Plume Volcanism through Time 2002
Geologic evidence for a mantle superplume event at 1.9 Ga 2000
Plume-related mafic volcanism and the deposition of banded iron formation 1999
Increased mantle convection during the mid-Cretaceous: A comparative study of mantle potential temperature 1996
Influence of the tectosphere upon plate motion 1996
The structural and geochemical evolution of the continental crust: Support for the oceanic plateau model of continental growth 1995
An empirical thermal history of the Earth's upper mantle 1994
Topographic relief and sediment thickness: Their effects on the thermal evolution of the oceanic crust 1992
Heat flow constraints on the South Pacific Superswell 1991
The case for accretion of the tectosphere by buoyant subduction 1991
Has the Wharton Basin's Heat flow been perturbed by the formation of a diffuse plate boundary in the Indian Ocean? 1988
A statistical correlation between Ridge Crest offsets and spreading rate 1986
Heat flow measurements on a hydrothermally-active, slow-spreading ridge: The Escanaba Trough 1986
Tectonically controlled origin of three unusual rock suites in the Woodlark Basin 1986
Age of oceanic plates at subduction and volatile recycling 1984
Archaean plate tectonics revisited 1. Heat flow, spreading rate, and the age of subducting oceanic lithosphere and their effects on the origin and evolution of continents 1984
Archaean plate tectonics revisited 2. Paleo-sea level changes, continental area, oceanic heat loss and the area-age distribution of the ocean basins 1984
Correlated sediment thickness, temperature gradient and excess pore pressure in a marine fault block basin 1984
Anomalous heat flow in the northwest Atlantic: A case for continued hydrothermal circulation in 80-M.Y. crust 1983
Constraints upon water advection in sediments of the Mariana Trough 1983
Evidence for excess pore pressures in southwest Indian Ocean sediments 1981