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Dr. Nels Iverson

Dr. Nels Iverson
Geochemist-Microbeam Analyst
New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801-4796
(575) 835-6333 fax

I am a Geochemist/Micro-Beam Analyst for the NMBGMR. I run the Electron Microprobe Lab. We have a Cameca SX100 with BSE, SE, and 4 WDS spectrometers. I have several active research projects that utilize the New Mexico Geochronology Research Laboratory.

My research interests include using geochemistry and geochronology of volcanic products in a wide range of geologic environments to understand the spatial and temporal relationships of evolving landscapes. Much of my research takes place in Antarctica characterizing volcanic ash trapped in ice. I am working on several projects in Ethiopia working on chronology relevant to the Hominid evolution in the Afar. My student and I completed research in the Corudas Mountains in south-central New Mexico updating the emplacement history and assessing the REE potential. This area is an important suite of Eocene-Oligocene REE-bearing alkaline intrusions and the northern extent of the larger Trans-Pecos magmatic province. I have another student updating the geochronology of Laramide age Cu-porphyry intrusions in Southwestern New Mexico. This is part of the Bureau's large-scale effort to update the critical mineral resources within the state.

(See Curriculum Vitae)







I teach two classes that focus on providing undergraduate and graduate students with the necessary skills to operate microbeam instruments. Fall semesters I teach a course through the Material and Metallurgy Engineering Department (MTLS 483) on how to operate their Scanning Electron Microscopes (Hitachi S4800 and JEOL IT-700HR). This course focuses on how to prepare and analyze a wide range of samples on the SEM using multiple detectors. This includes SE, BSE, EDS, and EBSD analysis.

During the Spring semester, I teach a graduate-level (GEOC 575) Earth and Environmental Sciences Department course on the Theory and Practice of Electron Microprobe Analysis. This course focuses more on how to use microbeam techniques on geologic samples. This focuses more on BSE phase identification, X-Ray Mapping, and Qualitative and Quantitative WDS analysis.

Graduate Students


Mason Woodard- MSc in Geology, New Mexico Tech- Graduated 2023 (Research Advisor)

Using 40Ar/ 39Ar Geochronology and Clinopyroxene geothermometry to re-evaluate the emplacement history and tectonics of the Cornudas Mountains, southern New Mexico

Stephen Piva- Ph.D. in Geology, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington- 2023

Environmental and Climatic Responses to Two Large Explosive Eruptions from Taup? Volcano, New Zealand


Kyle Stafford- MSc in Mineral Engineering, New Mexico Tech- Expected Graduation 2024

Alexander Mattin- Ph.D. Student at the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington- Expected 2026


(See Curriculum Vitae for more details)

  1. Relevant Publications:
  2. Publications in Refereed Journals (by year)
  3. Piva, S.B., Barker, S.J., Iverson, N.A., Winton, V.H.L., Bertler, N.A., Sigl, M., Wilson, C.J., Dunbar, N.W., Kurbatov, A.V., Carter, L. and Charlier, B.L., 2023. Volcanic glass from the 1.8 ka Taup? eruption (New Zealand) detected in Antarctic ice at~ 230 CE. Scientific Reports, 13(1), p.16720.
  4. Stinchcomb, G.E., Quade, J., Levin, N.E., Iverson, N., Dunbar, N., McIntosh, W., Arnold, L.J., Demuro, M., Duval, M., Grün, R. and Zhao, J.X., 2023. Fluvial response to Quaternary hydroclimate in eastern Africa: Evidence from Gona, Afar, Ethiopia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 309, p.108083.
  5. Goff, F., Goff, C.J., Chipera, S., Schiferl, D., Waters, L., Konishi, E., Iverson, N. and Gindreau, J., 2023. The Goblin Colony: Spectacular Monoliths and Walls of Altered Bandelier Tuff South of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico. New Mexico Geology, 44(1).
  6. Piva, S.B., Barker, S.J., Newnham, R.M., Rees, A.B., Wilson, C.J., Carter, L., Iverson, N.A., Läuchli, B. and Augustinus, P.C., 2023. Millimetre?scale pollen analysis of non?varved lacustrine sediments from Onepoto maar palaeolake, Auckland, reveals distal vegetation responses and landscape recovery following the~ 25.5?ka ?ruanui supereruption, New Zealand. Journal of Quaternary Science.
  7. Morgan, L. A., Shanks, W. C. P., Pierce, K. L., Iverson, N., Schiller, C. M., Brown, S. R., ... & Licciardi, J. M. (2022). The dynamic floor of Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming, USA: The last 14 ky of hydrothermal explosions, venting, doming, and faulting. GSA ulletin.
  8. Dunbar, N.W., Iverson, N.A., Smellie, J.L., McIntosh, W.C., Zimmerer, M.J., Kyle, P.R. (2021). Active volcanoes of Marie Byrd Land. Volcanism in Antarctica: 200 Million Years of Subduction, Rifting and Continental Break-Up 55. Smellie, J. L., Panter, K.S., and Geyer, A.. Geological Society of London. DOI: 10.1144/M55-2019-29
  9. Dunbar, N.W., Iverson, N.A., Van Eaton, E., Sigl, M. McConnell, J., Alloway, B., Wilson, C. 2017. New Zealand super-eruption provides time marker for Last Glacial Maximum in Antarctica. Scientific Reports, 7, 12238. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11758-0.
  10. Iverson, N.A., Kalteyer, D., Dunbar, N.W., Kurbatov, A. and Yates, M., 2017a. Advancements and best practices for analysis and correlation of tephra and cryptotephra in ice. Quaternary Geochronology, 40: 45-55.
  11. Iverson, N.A., Lieb-Lappen, R., Dunbar, N.W., Obbard, R., Kim, E., & Golden, E. 2017b. The first physical evidence of subglacial volcanism under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Scientific Reports, 7, 11457.
  12. Lee, M. J., Kyle, P. R., Iverson, N. A., Lee, J. I., & Han, Y. 2019. Rittmann volcano, Antarctica as the source of a widespread 1252±2 CE tephra layer in Antarctica ice. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 521, 169-176.
  13. Winski, D. A., Fudge, T. J., Ferris, D. G., Osterberg, E. C., Fegyveresi, J. M., Cole-Dai, J., Thundercloud, Z., Cox, T. S., Kreutz, K. J., Ortman, N., Buizert, C., Epifanio, J., Brook, E. J., Beaudette, R., Severinghaus, J., Sowers, T., Steig, E. J., Kahle, E. C., Jones, T. R., Morris, V., Aydin, M., Nicewonger, M. R., Casey, K. A., Alley, R. B., Waddington, E. D., Iverson, N. A., Dunbar, N. W., Bay, R. C., Souney, J. M., Sigl, M., and McConnell, J. R. 2019. The SP19 chronology for the South Pole Ice Core – Part 1: volcanic matching and annual layer counting, Climate of the Past, 15, 1793–1808,, 2019.