Derrick received a Master's at the University of Utah (2006) focusing on thermal isostasy of North America (contributions of heat to elevation) and continued on to a Ph.D. (2010) extending this work with a focus on distributions of radiogenic heat producing elements. This work showed the importance of temperature controls on continental elevation roughly equal to that of compositional variations. The Ph.D. also involved an in depth look at global patterns of heat loss and hydrothermal circulation through the oceanic lithosphere. He then began a postdoc as a Green's Scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and built an apparatus to measure electrical conductivity at elevated temperatures while continuing to look at heat flow variations at the ocean-continent transistion.
His on-going research includes connection to the previous heat flow studies and also new directions involving the interpretation of electrical conductivity variations within the mantle in terms of composition, melts, and volitiles such as water and carbon dioxide.
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