Indiana University Bloomington

Erika Elswick

Erika Elswick

Senior Lecturer and Director, Analytical Geochemistry Lab


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., (2014) Bedded barite deposits: Environments of Deposition, Styles of Mineralization, and Tectonic Settings. Vol. 7 - Sediments, Diagenesis, and Sedimentary Rocks, Treatise on Geochemistry 2nd Ed. Indiana Geological Survey Special Paper #71 (2013) 22p.

Simonelli, G.A., Johnson, C.C., Elswick, E.R., Kauffman, E.G, Eble, C.F., Hasiotis, S.T. (2014) Sedimentology, geochemistry and paleobiology of the Mansfield Formation, Indiana, USA – a Pennsylvanian marginal marine depositional environment.

Elswick, E.R., and Gercke, T.L. (2013) Physical and Geochemical Characteristics of Soils of Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Indiana: including a case study of sherds from Unit A. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, (2013) Vol. 38, No. 2, p. 245–258.

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: 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.


Nold, K.D., Johnson, C.C., Conrad, G.W., Beeker, C.D., Elswick, E.R. and Kauffman, E.G.  A snapshot of coastal resources at the close of Caribbean prehistory. (Journal of Caribbean Archaeology, 23 manuscript pages,10 figs, 3 tables.)

Elswick, E.R., and Anwar, A.M., Sandstone petrology and rare earth and trace element geochemistry of the Early Permian Santa Rosa Group sediments, Maya Mountains, Belize. Journal of Sedimentary Research

Elswick, E.R., and Hanselmann, F., Beeker, C., Kauffman, E.G., Conrad, G. Cara Merchant: sources of ballast stones for the 1699 shipwreck, Catalina Island, Dominican Republic. Chemical Geology

Johnson, C.C. Morgenthien, J.N., Martinez-Colon, M., Santos Mercado, H., Kauffman, E.G., Elswick, E.R., Late Cretaceous paleoecology of El Rayo Formation carbonates, Puerto Rico. Palaios

Elswick, E.R., Gercke, E.S., Miller, O.L., Beeker, C.D. and Sauer, P.E., Late Holocene climate record from southeast Dominican Republic. Quaternary Research


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.