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Tracy M. Quan's Projects

 Quan

TRACY M. QUAN

Associate Professor
Adjunct Professor -  OSU Department of Chemistry

Office:    103E Noble Research Center
Phone:    1.405.744.5917
Fax:         1.405.744.7841
Email:      tracy.quan@okstate.edu
Ph.D.       2005 MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution       
B.S.         1999 University of California, San Diego-Revelle College

 

My research focuses on characterization of depositional sedimentary systems through time with respect to water column redox state, nutrient cycling, and biogeochemical environment.  Current projects include:

•    The use of bulk sedimentary nitrogen isotopes to identify and characterize the water column paleo-redox environment during deposition.  My lab has developed a conceptual model linking deep-water oxygen concentrations to nitrogen isotope signals, allowing qualitative evaluation of the depositional redox state (Figure 1).   In combination with other geochemical proxies such as carbon isotopes, and trace metal and elemental concentrations, sedimentary nitrogen isotope values can be a valuable proxy for evaluating depositional environment.  We are applying this 15N proxy to a wide range of locations, events, and time periods, including glacial-interglacial cycling in the Black Sea, the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary, and the mass extinction at the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary.

Quanprojects
Figure 1: conceptual model of the correlation between 15N and deep-water oxygen concentration.  Adapted from Quan et al., 2008. 

•    Investigations into the use of bulk sedimentary nitrogen isotopes as a means to identify and characterize the water column redox environment in systems that have undergone catagenesis, such as hydrocarbon-rich shales and unconventional resource plays.  Thus far, the data indicates that the primary influence on bulk sedimentary 15N values in hydrocarbon systems is depositional water column redox conditions; other factors such as catagenesis and thermal maturity are secondary influences.  As a result, inclusion of nitrogen isotopes in a geochemical assessment can provide valuable information in the evaluation of unconventional resource plays.  

•    Using biomarkers to evaluate paleoclimatic conditions in sedimentary and soil systems.  We are currently using glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) compounds to reconstruct the temperature, soil pH, and organic matter input records for aquatic systems.  Our main focus is to determine paleoenvironmental and paleotemperature conditions during the formation, evolution, and demise of Pleistocene mega-paleolakes in the Kalahari Desert, Botswana.

•    Investigations into the use of bulk sedimentary nitrogen isotopes as a means to identify and characterize the water column redox environment in systems that have undergone catagenesis, such as hydrocarbon-rich shales and unconventional resource plays.  Thus far, the data indicates that the primary influence on bulk sedimentary 15N values in hydrocarbon systems is depositional water column redox conditions; other factors such as catagenesis and thermal maturity are secondary influences.  As a result, inclusion of nitrogen isotopes in a geochemical assessment can provide valuable information in the evaluation of unconventional resource plays.  

•    Using biomarkers to evaluate paleoclimatic conditions in sedimentary and soil systems.  We are currently using glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) compounds to reconstruct the temperature, soil pH, and organic matter input records for aquatic systems.  Our main focus is to determine paleoenvironmental and paleotemperature conditions during the formation, evolution, and demise of Pleistocene mega-paleolakes in the Kalahari Desert, Botswana.


• Chemical and isotopic characterization of organic compounds in produced water from the Black Warrior Basin (Alabama) coalbed methane reservoir in order to determine the biogeochemical processes that shaped the produced water composition and methane production in this basin.





Recent Funded Projects

1.    National Science Foundation GEO OCE-0961914: Quan, T. M. Nitrogen cycle changes across the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event.  Duration of award 7/1/10-6/30/14.  Total funding $343,893.
2.  Newfield Exploration Company; PI: D. Boardman; Co-PIs: J. Pashin, E. Atekwana, J. Puckette, T. M. Quan, M. Grammer.  High resolution stratigraphy, paleoceanography, and conodont biostratigraphy of the Mississippian Strata and Devonian Woodford Shale in the Newfield Central Oklahoma coring project. Duration 4/9/14-6/1/16.  Total funding: $546,894.00. 




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