Carol A. Stein

[Image] Professor
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
845 W. Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60607-7059
Telephone: (312) 996-9349
FAX:(312) 413-2279
Office: 2472 Science & Engineering South

B.S., California Institute of Technology, 1978
M.S., Columbia University, 1981
Ph.D., Columbia University, 1984

visiting Meteor Crater, Arizona

My research covers a range of topics in plate tectonics dealing with the thermal and mechanical evolution of the lithosphere. These studies use a variety of data and modeling approaches, with primary emphasis on measurements of heat flow at the sea floor. Such heat flow data, when combined with other geophysical observations, provide a valuable constraint on the time-dependent thermal structure and hence evolution of the lithosphere. I have studied various aspects of these processes including the reference models for the average thermal evolution of oceanic lithosphere, differences in regional subsidence, midplate swells and hotspot regions, and hydrothermal circulation in normal oceanic lithosphere. Most recent projects include the thermal state of 25 million year old oceanic crust near the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (the "TicoFlux" project), heat flow differences on the North American and Eurasian plates near Iceland, an analysis of heat flow near subduction zones, and studying the 1.1 billion year old Mid-Continent Rift System of North America.

Science Advisor for Eos, of the American Geophysical Union, 2019-2021
Chair, Geophysics and Geodynamics Division of the Geological Society of America, 2017-2019
Editor for Eos, the newspaper of the American Geophysical Union, 2010-2019
Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2013


Midcontinent Rift of North America
"Lake Superior and the Midcontinent Rift: A billion year story", 13 minute video about the Midcontinent Rift project (December 2015).
This video was recently produced telling the “story behind the scenery” of both the geology and the geoheritage of the Midcontinental Rift. The MCR bequeathed significant economic drivers to the Great Lakes region of the U.S.: copper deposits that drew settlers, and Lake Superior, a major waterway to transport goods. These features continue to attract tourists today. The video was coproduced by Abigail Foerstner and Seth Stein, Northwestern University and Carol Stein, University of Illinois at Chicago (funded by EarthScope). to watch video click here.

Recent news stories about this project are from Nature, Earth Magazine (August 2014), and Earth Magazine (January 2016).

Thermal Evolution of Oceanic Lithosphere

Hydrothermal Circulation in Oceanic Crust

TicoFlux Study (in the Pacific near Costa Rica)


Subduction Zones & Hydrothermal Circulation

PUBLICATIONS, some downloadable

TEACHING: Recent classes

EaES 111- Earth, Energy, and the Environment syllabus

EaES 290- Current Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences syllabus

EaES 440- Structural Geology and Tectonics syllabus

EaES 444- Geophysics syllabus

EaES 448- Plate Tectonics

EaES 475- Hydrology/Hydrogeology, Fall 2015

EaES 543- Advanced Geophysics and Plate Tectonics

EaES 575- Advanced Hydrogeology


Faculty of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago