Missouri State University

Foundation Award for Research

Kevin Mickus

Dr. Kevin Mickus

College of Natural and Applied Sciences
Geography, Geology and Planning

I.  Focus of Research

My research involves using geophysical methods (gravity, magnetics, electromagnetics) to determine nature of the Earth’s crust and mantle. My projects involving large scale tectonic processes include determining the crustal structure of the East African Rift in Ethiopia and how this continental rift is evolving into oceanic crust, what are the processes causing the crust to rift in Botswana, the nature of the Ouachita orogenic belt in the southern US, the location of subsurface magma sources at Mt. Erebus in Antarctica, the evolution of the Atlas and Tell Mountains in north Africa, and the tectonic evolution of the Northwestern US. Other research projects include determining the location and nature of mineral deposits in the central US including the lead/zinc deposits in the Joplin area and rare earth elements in the St. Francois Mountains region. Recently, my research has involved determining the location of karst features (sinkholes and caves) in the Springfield area.

II.  Major Projects

  • Evolution of the Atlas and Tell Mountains, Algeria and Tunisia, 2000-2006
  • Evolution of the East African Rift in Ethiopia, 2003-2006
  • Transition from continental to oceanic rifting in Afar, Ethiopia, 2009-2013
  • How did rifting start in Botswana, 2010-2013
  • Evolution of the Chiwaukum and Methow Basins, Washington, 2011-2013
  • Location of magma sources at Mt. Erebus, Antarctica, 2013
  • Determining the location of karst conduits in Springfield using electrical resistivity and ground penetrating radar-  2010-2013
  • Locating graves at the Nathan Boone State Historical Site, 2011-2013

III. Future Directions of Research

My future research includes continuing my East African research in Ethiopia and Botswana, and continue the research into Zambia and Malawi. Additionally, I plan to continue the Afar research in Saudi Arabia to determine the nature and how the Red Sea formed.

Within the Northwest US, I plan to study the nature of the Precambrian boundaries to better understand how North America was formed during this time period.

I also plan to get more involved in ore deposits research as the need for metals will be increasing. Current plans involve using electrical and gravity methods to determine the origin of  gold, tungsten and titanium deposits in SW Utah.

IV.  Topics related to your research and of interest to the broad University Community, for which you are available for presentations and/or consultations.

I can talk about the nature of the East African Rift, volcanism in Antarctica, the evolution of the tectonic features in the NW USA, using geophysics to locate karst features and the nature and evolution of the Ouachita orogenic belt..