Ph.D., Rutgers University
M.S., Dartmouth College
B.S., Dartmouth College
Key Areas of Interest: Tephrostratigraphy, Geoarchaeology, Potential Mars analogues
Teaching Areas: Mineralogy
Research Interests: I use the composition of volcanic ash to correlate between archaeological sites in East Africa. Individual volcanic eruptions produce and deposit volcanic ash layers of distinct compositions that can often be uniquely identified over broad areas. Where these ashes are preserved between stratigraphic layers of archaeological interest, we can create stratigraphic frameworks for important evolutionary and cultural changes throughout a region.
I am also interested in Mars geology, and finding terrestrial analogues for the minerals, sediments, and geochemistry of the Martian surface. Much of the Martian surface, as documented by the MER Spirit and Opportunity rovers and recent and current orbiters, likely consists of altered volcanic material. These deposits are also enriched in sulfate minerals, likely the products of dirty evaporites during a wetter episode of Mars’ past or possibly sulfur-rich volcanic fumaroles. I am interested in studying places on Earth where sulfate minerals are formed during the alteration of volcanic materials, under both volcanic and aqueous conditions.
McHenry, L.J., 2012. A revised stratigraphic framework for Olduvai Gorge Bed I based on tuff geochemistry. Journal of Human Evolution 63: 284-299.
McHenry, L.J., Chevrier, V., Schröder, C., 2011. Occurrence of jarosite in a saline-alkaline paleo-lake deposit: implications for Mars aqueous geochemistry. Journal of Geophysical Research 116: E04002.
McHenry, L.J., Luque, L., Gómez, J.A., Diez-Martín, F., 2011. Promise and pitfalls for characterizing and correlating the zeolitically altered tephra of the Pleistocene Peninj Group, Tanzania. Quaternary Research 75: 708-720.
McHenry, L.J., 2011. Geochemistry and mineralogy of Laetoli area tuffs: Lower Laetolil through Naibadad Beds. In: Harrison, T. (Ed.) Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli, Tanzania: Human Evolution in Context. Volume 1: Geology, Geochronology, Paleoecology and Paleoenvironment. Springer series Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology. 121-141.
McHenry, L.J., 2010. Element distribution between coexisting authigenic mineral phases in argillic and zeolitic altered tephra, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Clays and Clay Minerals 58(5): 627-643.
Henry, L.C., Isbell, J.L., Limarino, C.O., McHenry, L.J., Fraiser, M.L., 2010. Mid-Carboniferous deglaciation of the Protoprecordillera, Argentina recorded in the Agua de Jagüel paleovalley. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 298: 112-129.