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Ganqing Jiang
Professor of Geology
Ph.D., Columbia University, 2002
Sedimentary Geology and Stable Isotope Geochemistry
Telephone: (702) 895-2708
Office: Science and Engineering Building (SEB) 3241

      Professional Background
      Research Publications
      Stable Isotope Laboratory
      UNLV Geoscience Department
      Graduate student reading

Professional Background

     Dr. Jiang received his B.A. in Engineering from Xiangtan Mining College in Hunan, south China. After graduation, he started to work on the stratigraphy and tectonics in north China and received a M.S. in Geology from China University of Geosciences (Beijing). Following graduation, he worked as a lecturer at the China University of Geosciences for five years. He continued his education at Columbia University and completed his Ph.D. in 2002. He worked as postdoctoral associate at the University of California, Riverside from 2002 to 2004. Ganqing joined the Geoscience faculty in August of 2004.

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     Undergraduate Courses:
     * GEOG 103: Physical Geography
     * GEOL 102: Earth and Life Through Time
     * GEOL 462: Principles of Stratigraphy and Sedimentation

     Graduate Courses:
     * GEOL 781: Carbonate Depositional Systems
     * GEOL 766: Earth Systems Change
     * GEOL 783: Sequence and Chemostratigraphy

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Research Interests

     The integration of physical stratigraphy, sedimentology, and isotope geochemistry has great potential for refining questions asked of paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate changes and their impact on biotic innovations in Earth history. Through comparative study of the Neoproterozoic to Paleozoic sedimentary archives in the Great Basin of western U.S. and other continents such as China, my current research interests fall in the following categories:

The origin of late Neoproterozoic to Cambrian carbon isotope excursions: Unusually negative d13C excursions have been documented from the late Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian successions across the globe, yet the time, magnitude, regional and global synchrony of these excursions remain controversial. A critical question related to their origin and potential chemostratigraphic implications is whether such excursions are controlled by depositional environments at basinal scales, in response to the depth of the ancient chemocline that may change from basin to basin. Answering this question requires an integrated study of sedimentary geology and geochemistry across the shelf-to-basinal transitions. Current studies in the Ediacaran-Cambrian Yangtze platform in South China and tests in the Middle Cambrian House Range Embayment in Utah and Nevada have generated some interesting data and continued work may help to answer some of the long-standing questions;

The relationship between sea-level change and isotope excursions: Both sequence stratigraphy and chemostratigraphy emphasize that sea-level changes may have played important roles in forming stratigraphic unconformities and isotope excursions, yet the exact relationship between these events remain speculative. With a focus on the well-exposed Cambrian-Ordovician strata in the Great Basin of western U.S. and a comparison with coeval successions in southern and northern China, an integrated sequence and chemostratigraphic study is aimed at a better understanding of the interactions between sequence development, isotope anomalies, and sea-level changes;

Seawater/surface temperature during times of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations in Earth hisotry: Palentological data and numerical modeling suggests that there are times in Earth history when atmospheric CO2 levels were much higher than the modern level. Important periods include the Mesoproterozoic, Cambrian and Ordovician, and Cretaceous. At high atmospheric CO2 concentration, seawater/surface temperature would be higher than today -- if our assumption on global warming (CO2 greenhouse effects) is correct, or some other factors need to be considered. However, obtaining paleo-temperature proxies has been difficult due to diagenesis, especially for strata older than Cretaceous. In collaboration with Prof. Uwe Brand, attempts have been made to obtain signature from well-preserved fossil materials (e.g., brachiopods with preservation of primary crystals) and other mineral phases (early cements, early diagenetic cherts, paleosols, etc.).

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Current students

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Chin Chai (Hugo) Huan: PhD student  The Ediacaran and Cambrian succession in Malaysia (temporally)

Audrey Warren: PhD student  Stratigraphic patterns and biogeochemical changes of the Early Mississippian strata

Uday Kara Ali: PhD student  Unusual dolomitization of Paleozoic carbonates in the Great Basin.

William Pilesky: PhD student  Sequence and chemostratigraphy of the Late ordovician-Early Silurian succession in the Great Basin

Dev Maharjan: PhD student  Environmental changes across the Early Mississippian greenhouse-icehouse transition

Deborah Morales: MS student  Nitrogen isotope variations of the Ediacaran deep-water sections in South China


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Swapan K. Sahoo, PhD (2015) Ediacaran ocean redox evolution.
Current position: British Petroleum (BP), Houston, Texas

Patricia (Suzy) Williams, MS (2015) Carbon isotope variations associated with a Middle Ordovician karstic unconformity.
Current position: Geoscientist at Rock Solid Images, Houston, Texas

Leon Taufani, MS (2012) Detrital carbonates in a sequence stratigraphic framework: An example from the Furongian slope environment in the Hot Creek Range of central Nevada.
Current position: ExxonMobil Production Company, Indonesia

Robert A. Henry, MS (2011) Paired δ13Ccarb, δ13Corg, and δ18O study across the Lower Mississippian positive carbon isotope excursion, southeastern Nevada, USA
Current position: Self-employed, petroleum-related

Ratna Widiarti, MS (2011) Lateral variability of facies and cycles in the Furongian (late Cambrian) carbonate platform: an example from the Big Horse Member of the Orr Formation in Western Utah, U.S.A.
Current position: ExxonMobil Production Company, Indonesia

Adam Zeiza, MS (2011) Tectonically controlled autocyclicity in the Furongian (late Cambrian) carbonate platform, central Nevada and western Utah, USA
Current position: ExxonMobil Production Company, Indonesia

Jonathan Baker, MS (2010) Carbon isotopic fractionation across a late Cambrian carbonate platform: a regional response to the SPICE event as recorded in the Great Basin, United States
Current position: PhD student

Robyn A. Howley, PhD (2010) Sequence and Chemostratigraphy of the middle Cambrian Succession in Nevada and Utah
Current position: ExxonMobil Production Company, Houston, Texas.

Paul Kosmidis, MS (2009) Sequence and chemostratigraphic study across the basal Eureka Quartzite unconformity in the Great Basin, Nevada: implications for the origin of the late Middle Ordovician carbon isotope excursion.
Current position: United States Forest Survey, Colorado

Prospective Students

I have several projects available in sequence and chemostratigraphy, paleoclimate change, carbonate sedimentology, diagenesis and reservoir evaluation, using an intergrated field and laboratory approach. Working areas may include but not limited to the Great Basin (Nevada and Utah), south & north China, and India. The great exposure near UNLV and the available equipment at the Geoscience department, including the EMIL (Electron Microanalysis & Imaging Laboratory), XRD-XRF, NIGL (Nevada Isotope Geochronology Laboratory), and the LVIS Lab (Las Vegas Isotope Science Laboratory) provide a unique opportunity to incoporate the field-based studies with chemical analysis. Both Ph.D. and M.S. candidates are welcome to contact Dr. Ganqing Jiang at for details.

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Selected Publications ( Full Publication list )

* Wang, X., Jiang, G., Shi, X., and Xiao, S., 2016, Paired carbonate and organic carbon isotope variations of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation from an upper slope section at Siduping, South China: Precambrian Research, v. 273, p. 53-66.

* An, Z., Jiang, G., Tong, J., Tian, L., Ye, Q., Song, H., and Song, H., 2015, Stratigraphic position of the Ediacaran Miaohe biota and its constrains on the age of the upper Doushantuo d13C anomaly in the Yangtze Gorges area, South China: Precambrian Research, v. 271, p. 243-253.

* Zhang, S., Li, H., Jiang, G., Evans, D.A.D., Dong, J., Wu, H., Yang, T., Liu, P., and Xiao, Q., 2015, New Paleomagnetic results from the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation in South China and their paleogeographic implications: Precambrian Research, v. 259, p. 130-142.

* Zhang, W., Shi, X., Jiang, G., Tang, D., and Wang, X., 2015, Mass-occurrence of oncoids at the Cambrian Series 2-Series 3 transition in the western North China Platform: implications for microbial resurgence following an early Cambrian extinction event: Gondwana Research, v. 28, p. 432-450.

* Tang, D., Shi, X., and Jiang, G., 2014, Sunspot cycles recorded in Mesoproterozoic carbonate biolaminites: Precambrian Research, v. 248, p. 1-16.

* Algeo, T.J., Meyers, P.A., Robinson, R.S., Rowe, H., and Jiang, G.Q., 2014, Icehouse-greenhouse variations in marine denitrification: Biogeosciences, v. 11, p. 1273-1295.

* Wu, H., Zhang, S., Hinnov, L.A., Jiang, G., Feng, Q., Li, H., and Yang, T., 2013, Time-calibrated Milankovitch cycles for the late Permian: Nature Communications, v. 4, Article No. 2452.

* Wu, H., Zhang, S., Jiang, G., Hinnov, L., Yang, T., Li, H., Wan, X., and Wang, C., 2013, Astrochronology of the Early Turonian - Early Campanian terrestrial succession in the Songliao Basin, northeastern China and its implication for long-period behavior of the Solar System: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 385, p. 55-70.

* Tang, D., Shi, X., Jiang, G., and Zhang, W., 2013, Microfabrics in Mesoproterozoic microdigitate stromatolites: Evidence of biogenicity and organomineralization at micron and nanometer scales: Palaios, v. 28, p. 178-194.

* Dong, J., Zhang, S., and Jiang, G., Li, H., and Gao, R., 2013, Greigite from carbonate concretions of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation in South China and its environmental implications: Precambrian Research, v. 225, p. 77-85.

* Sahoo, S.K., Planavsky, N.J., Kendall, B., Wang, X., Shi, X., Scott, C., Anbar, A.D., Lyons, T.W., and Jiang, G., 2012, Ocean oxygenation in the wake of the Marinoan glaciation: Nature, v. 489, p. 546-549.

* Jiang, G., Wang, X., Shi, X., Xiao, S., Zhang, S., and Dong, J., 2012, The origin of decoupled carbonate and organic carbon isotope signatures in the early Cambrian (ca. 542-520 Ma) Yangtze platform: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 317-318, p. 96-110.

* Brand, U., Jiang, G., Azmy, K., Bishop, J., and Montanez, I. P., 2012, Diagenetic evaluation of a Pennsylvanian carbonate succession (Bird Spring Formation, Arrow Canyon, Nevada, U.S.A.) - 1: Brachiopod and whole rock comparison: Chemical Geology, v. 308-309, p. 26-39.

* Jiang, G., Shi, X., Zhang, S., Wang, Y., and Xiao, S., 2011, Stratigraphy and paleogeography of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation (ca. 635-551 Ma) in South China: Gondwana Research, v. 19, p. 831-849.

* Huang, J., Chu, X., Jiang, G., Feng, L., and Chang, H., 2011, Hydrothermal origin of elevated iron, manganese and redox-sensitive trace elements in the c. 635 Ma Doushantuo cap carbonate: Journal of the Geological Society, London, v. 168, p. 805-816.

* Li, G., Jiang, G., and Wan, X., 2011, The age of the Chuangde Formation in Kangmar, southern Tibet of China: Implications for the origin of Cretaceous oceanic red beds (CORBs) in the northern Tethyan Himalaya: Sedimentary Geology, v. 235, p. 111-121.

* Jiang, G., Wang, X., Shi, X., Zhang, S., Xiao, S., and Dong, J., 2010, Organic carbon isotope constraints on the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) reservoir at the Cryogenian - Ediacaran transition: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 299, p. 159-168.

* Howley, R. A., and Jiang, G., 2010, The Cambrian Drumian carbon isotope excursion (DICE) in the Great Basin, western United States: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 296, p. 138-150.

* Bristow, T.F., Kennedy, M.J., Derkowski, A., Droser, M.L., Jiang, G., and Creaser, R.A., 2009, Mineralogical constraints on the paleoenvironments of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, v. 106, p. 13190-13195.

* Druschke, P.A., Jiang, G., Anderson, T.B., and Hanson, A.D., 2009, Stromatolites in the Late Ordovician Eureka Quartzite: implications for microbial growth and preservation in siliciclastic settings: Sedimentology, v. 56, p. 1275-1291.

* Li, G., Jiang, G., Hu, X., and Wan, X., 2009, New biostratigraphic data from the Cretaceous Bolinxiala Formation in Zanda, southwestern Tibet of China, and their paleogeographic and paleoceanographic implications: Cretaceous Research, v. 30, p. 1005-1018.

* Wu, H., Zhang, S., Jiang, G., and Huang, Q., 2009, The floating astronomical time scale for the terrestrial Late Cretaceous Qingshankou Formation from the Songliao Basin of Northeast China and its stratigraphic and paleoclimate implications: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 278, p. 308-323.

* Jiang, G., Zhang, S., Shi, X., and Wang, X., 2008, Chemocline instability and isotope variations of the Ediacaran Doushantuo basin in South China: Science in China Series D-Earth Sciences, v. 51, p. 1560-1569.

* Zhang, S., Jiang, G., and Han, Y., 2008, The age of the Nantuo Formation and Nantuo glaciation in South China: Terra Nova, v. 20, p. 289-294.

* Wang, J., Jiang, G., Xiao, S., Li, Q., and Wei, Q., 2008, Carbon isotope evidence for widespread methane seeps in the ca. 635 Ma Doushantuo cap carbonate in south China: Geology, v. 36, p. 347-350.

* McFadden, K.A., Huang, J., Chu, X., Jiang, G., Kaufman, A.J., Zhou, C., Yuan, X., and Xiao, S., 2008, Pulsed oxidation and biological evolution in the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, v. 105, p. 31973202.

* Jiang, G., Kaufman, A.J., Christie-Blick, N., Zhang, S., and Wu, H., 2007, Carbon isotope variability across the Ediacaran Yangtze platform in South China: Implications for a large surface-to-deep ocean d13C gradient: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 261, p. 303-320.

* Jiang, G., Kennedy, M.J., Christie-Blick, N., Wu, H., and Zhang, S., 2006, Stratigraphy, Sedimentary Structures, and Textures of the Late Neoproterozoic Doushantuo Cap Carbonate in South China: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 76, p. 978-995.

* Jiang, G., Shi, X., and Zhang, S., 2006, Methane seeps, methane hydrate destabilization, and the late Neoproterozoic postglacial cap carbonates: Chinese Science Bulletin, v. 51, p. 1152-1173.

* Kaufman, A.J., Jiang, G., Christie-Blick, N., Banerjee, D.M., and Rai, V., 2006, Stable isotope record of the terminal Neoproterozoic Krol platform in the Lesser Himalayas of northern India: Precambrian Research, v. 147, p. 156-185.

* Zhang, S., Jiang, G., Zhang, J., Song, B., Kennedy, M. J., Christie-Blick, N., 2005, U-Pb sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe ages from the Doushantuo Formation in south China: Constraints on late Neoproterozoic glaciations: Geology, v. 33, p. 473-476.

* Jiang, G., Kennedy, M.J., and Christie-Blick, N., 2003, Stable isotopic evidence for methane seeps in Neoproterozoic postglacial cap carbonates: Nature, v. 426, p. 822-826.

* Jiang, G., Sohl, L.E., and Christie-Blick, N., 2003, Neoproterozoic stratigraphic comparison of the Lesser Himalaya (India) and Yangtze block (south China): Paleogeographic implications: Geology, v. 31, p. 917-920.

* Jiang, G., Christie-Blick, N., Kaufman, A.J., Banerjee, D.M., and Rai, V., 2003, Carbonate platform growth and cyclicity of a terminal Proterozoic passive margin, Infra Krol Formation and Krol Group, Lesser Himalaya, India: Sedimentology, v. 50, p. 921-952.

* Jiang, G., Christie-Blick, N., Kaufman, A.J., Banerjee, D.M., and Rai, V., 2002, Sequence stratigraphy of the Neoproterozoic Infra Krol Formation and Krol Group, Lesser Himalaya, India: Journal of Sedimentary Research, vol. 72, p. 524-542.

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Office:Lilly Fong Geoscience Building (LFG) 104B
Tel: 702.895.3262; FAX 702.895.4064
Department of Geoscience
University of Nevada
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89154-4010