Chris Mattinson awarded NSF grant to study the North Qaidam UHP Terrane in western China
Chris Mattinson has been awarded a grant from the National Science
Foundation to study the processes responsible for the deep (>100 km)
burial and exhumation of continental crust, as recorded in rocks of the
North Qaidam ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) terrane, western China, where
UHP rocks and a long-lived (>30 Myr) collisional history are well
This project will constrain the spatial and time evolution of
pressure-temperature conditions of the southeastern segment of the
North Qaidam UHP terrane by combining (1) recently-developed trace
element thermometers, forward thermodynamic modeling, and conventional
thermobarometry to improve the accuracy and precision of temperature
estimates, and (2) systematic U-Pb geochronology, tied to pressure
and temperature constraints using trace elements and inclusions,
to place these results in a time context.
Results will be used to evaluate models of the continental
subduction/exhumation process, and will also aid understanding of the
physical conditions relevant to the fluid-releasing mineral reactions
linked to the deep earthquakes and melting that occur beneath volcanic
chains such as the Cascades.
The project, in collaboration with scientists from the Chinese Academy of
Geological Sciences, will continue for 3 years and includes funding for
both MS and undergraduate student research projects. Interested students
should contact Dr. Mattinson for more information
Eclogite false-color X-ray map showing concentration of Fe (red), Mg (green), and Ca (blue). Major minerals are garnet (red-orange), omphacite (green), and zoisite (blue). Field of view is 2 mm.