Carol Stein is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She joined AGU in 1977, and her primary section is Tectonophysics. Her 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. Heat flow data, combined with other geophysical observations, provide a valuable constraint on the time-dependent thermal structure and evolution of the lithosphere. She has studied aspects of these processes including reference models for the average thermal evolution of oceanic lithosphere, differences in regional subsidence, midplate swells and hotspot regions, hydrothermal circulation in normal oceanic lithosphere, and heat flow across subduction zones. Recently Stein and colleagues have been studying the 1.1-billion-year-old Midcontinent Rift of North America, a 3,000-kilometer-long largely buried feature causing the largest gravity and magnetic anomaly within the North American craton. She is currently studying various aspects of continental rifting and the evolution of passive continental margins. She served as the (2017–2019) chair of the Geophysics and Geodynamics division of the Geological Society of America.
Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2013
Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago