Graduate Student, University of Utah
Research Currently in Progress
Chantelle Kiessner is currently a graduate student in Geophysics at the University of Utah, working with Professor Lowell Miyagi. Her work is primarily focused on the deformation mechanisms and phase transformations that occur in zircon and quartz during impact events, both of which are useful as an “impact chronometer” in geology. Her experimental technique utilizes radial diffraction in the dynamic diamond anvil cell to study these minerals in high pressure and temperature conditions. Currently, she is studying the strain-rate dependent deformation of zircon and its phase transformation into reidite, which is commonly associated with impacts. A broader application of this work applies to deflecting near-earth objects off a collision course with the earth using impactors, as knowing material strength at impact conditions can help to accurately simulate how much energy is absorbed by an asteroid through deformation. The relevant CDAC science thrust is plasticity, strength, and deformation.