Indiana University Bloomington

Erika Elswick

Erika Elswick

Assistant Scientist


Office:   MSBII 428
Phone:   812-855-2493

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., 1998, University of Cincinnati
  • M.S., 1994, Wright State University

Research Interests

Stable isotopes in sedimentary environments (past and present) and their application to sedimentary ore deposits.

The fate of metals in the environment, and in the development of tropical soils.

Low temperature hydrothermal rock-water interactions at oceanic spreading ridges

The influences and interactions with microbial activity and microbial byproducts with these rock-water interactions.

Courses Taught

Teaching Philosophy

Students learn by doing and by dialog. Students in my laboratory and classes are exposed to a wide variety of geologic materials and problems, and are encouraged to engage in dialog to discuss and write about their findings in order to develop critical thinking skills along with a deeper understanding of the geologic concepts, materials, and systems.

Recent Research Projects

Analysis of copiapite samples from Devonian black shale outcrops.

Sulfur Isotopic Budget of the Yaxcopoil-1 Core, Chicxulub Impact Crater and modeling of the sulfur isotopic fractionation at the K/T boundary.

Depositional environments, sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Santa Rosa Group, E–M Permian, Belize

Effective determination of the critical components for Pb–Zn mineralization: Insights from the Santa Rosa Group, Belize, Central America

Carbon-Sulfur relationships in the Manus Basin, Sites 1188 and 1189, ODP Leg 193, Papua New Guinea

Graduate Student Projects

Emily S. Gercke M.S 2011

Thesis: Windward and leeward sedimentation patterns on Catalina Island, Dominican Republic.

H.R.M. Sohel M. Anwar -- M.S. 2004

Thesis: A rare earth and trace element approach to understanding the origin of the Santa Rosa Group sediments, Maya Mountains, Belize.

Graduate and Undergraduate Projects and Opportunities

Holocene climate and coastal process in the Dominican Republic (a field and laboratory project)

Dendrochronology and stable isotopes, soils, and groundwater in the Indiana University Demonstration Watershed, Tobacco Root Mountains, Montana (field and laboratory projects)

Griffy Lake Water Chemistry (a field collection, and laboratory analysis project in the IU preserve, and the Bloomington city park)

Water samples from seeps in local Devonian black shales (a field and laboratory project)

Representative Publications

Elswick, E.R., and Maynard, J.B., Bedded barite deposits: environments of deposition, styles of mineralization, and tectonic settings. (in press, Treatise of Geochemistry, v.7, 2nd Ed).

Elswick, E.R., and Gercke, T.L. Physical and Geochemical Characteristics of Soils of Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Indiana: including a case study of sherds from Unit A. (in submission to Special Volume on Angel Mounds, Midwest Archaeologist)

Shriner, C.M., Elswick, E.R., Ripley, E.M., Shimmelmann, A., and Murray, H.H., Natural Environment as a Determinative Factor in Greek Early Helladic Cultural Change on the Argive Plain: (in press Proceedings of the Helike IV Conference).

Elswick, E.R. and Johnson, C.C., Evaluation of a Siliciclastic Diamictite from Belize (2010). Journal of South American Earth Sciences, v. 29, p. 676–684.

Algeo, T.J., Hinnov, L., Moser, J., Maynard, J.B., Elswick, E.R., Kuwahara, K., Sano, H. (2010). Changes in productivity and redox conditions in the Panthalassic Ocean during the latest Permian: Geology v. 38, no. 2, p. 187–190.

Overberg-Webb, K, Craft, C., Elswick, E.R., (2008) The evaluation of the freshwater western pearl mussel, Margaritifera falcata (Gould, 1850), as a bioindicator through the analysis of metal partitioning and bioaccumulation: Northwest Science, v.82, no.3, p. 163-173.

Monaghan, G.W., Gerke, T.L., Elswick, E.R., and Fik, C., (2008) Geoarchaeology and Geophysics at the Angel Site, Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Evansville, IN: Field Trip # 11; Geological Society of America, North-central Section Meeting. April 26, 2008.

Hower, J.C., Robertson, J.D., Elswick, E.R., Roberts, J.M., Brandstedder, K., Trimble, A.S., and Mardon, S.M., (2007) Further Investigation of the Impact of the Co-combustion of Tire-derived Fuel and Petroleum Coke on the Petrology and Chemistry of Coal Combustion Products: Energy Sources, Part A, v. 29, p. 439-461.

Elswick, E.R., Hower, J.C., Carmo, A.M., Sun, T., and Mardon, S.M., (2007) Sulfur isotope geochemistry of coal and derived coal combustion products: an example from an Eastern Kentucky mine and power plant: Applied Geochemistry, v. 22, p. 2065-2077.

Jiang, Y., Elswick, E.R., Mastalerz, M., (2007) Progression in sulfur isotopic composition from coal to fly ash: Two examples from single-source combustion in Indiana: International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 73, no.3-4, p.273-284.

Ripley, E.M., Lightfoot, P.C., Li, C., and Elswick, E.R., (2003) Sulfur isotopic studies of continental flood basalts in the Norilsk region: Implications for the association between lavas and ore-bearing intrusions: Geochemica et Cosmochemica Acta, v. 67, p. 2805-2817.

Maynard J.B. and Elswick, E.R., and Hower, J.C., (2001) Reflectance of dispersed vitrinite in shales hosting Pb-Zn-Cu ore deposits in western Cuba: Comparison with clay crystallinity: In, Mastalerz, M., (Ed.) TSOP-Bloomington, 2000, selected papers presented at the 17th annual meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology, International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 47, p.161-170.


Sigma Gamma Epsilon (SGE), National Council President

Geological Society of America (GSA) Campus Representative

Sigma Gamma Epsilon (SGE) Rho Chapter, Faculty Advisor

Laboratory Facilities

Analytical Geochemistry Laboratory (MSBII 453) is a department facility that is dedicated to the inorganic geochemistry of geologic materials (water, sediments and soils, and rock). The facility is equipped with multiple fume hoods, a Perkin Elmer Aanalyst 800 atomic absorption spectrometer, a Dionex IC25 for ion chromatography, and an Eltra CS 2000 carbon-sulfur elemental analyzer. Additional equipment allows for multiple wet chemical extractions and preparation for the instruments listed above and other analyses, including mass spectrometry, and X-ray fluorescence.