Photo of Chris

Dr. Chris Mattinson

Associate Professor
Department of Geological Sciences, Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7418
Tel: 509.963.1628
fax: 509.963-2821
mattinson@geology.cwu.edu


Teaching

Research

NSF-funded UHP research - seeking MS and undergraduate students! Click here for details

My research interests center on using the evidence recorded in metamorphic rocks to address regional tectonic questions and to examine the time-scales of orogenic processes at convergent margins. In particular, my work with ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) rocks examines the behavior of the lithosphere during continental collision using metamorphic petrology, geochronology, geochemistry, and thermodynamics/thermobarometry. My main laboratory techniques are mineral chemistry by electron microprobe, U/Pb geochronology and trace element analyses by ion microprobe (SHRIMP-RG), and trace element analysis by laser ablation ICP-MS, coupled with evaluation of the geological context of the samples analyzed through field geology. My current and recent research projects include:

Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism and geochronology, western China: One of the outstanding questions of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism metamorphism is: How did these rocks return to the surface while preserving their high P/T mineral assemblages? Critical to addressing this question is a better understanding of exhumation rates from depths >80 km to the upper crust. These rates can be determined by combining geochronology and petrology, and therefore, I have focused on zircon U-Pb geochronology using the ion microprobe (SHRIMP-RG) linked to pressure, temperature, and mineral paragenesis by REE geochemistry, mineral inclusion analysis, and thermobarometry. Field work in the North Qaidam ultrahigh-pressure terrane in western China includes five field seasons in western China in 2001, 2002, 2008, and 2009. Graduate students: Jake Meyer, Brittany Fagin, Megan Regel, Ben Christensen.

Photos of 2008 China field work

Photos of 2009 China field work

Granulite facies metamorphism and geochronology, eastern Mojave, California: Granulites of the eastern Mojave record Early Proterozoic tectonism during the growth of the North American continent. This project uses field and petrographic investigation, combined with U/Pb geochronology of zircon and monazite, to address the timing of these events, and REE geochemistry, thin section and mineral inclusion relationships connect the U/Pb ages to metamorphic fabrics and mineral assemblages.

Fluid release in accretionary wedge metasediments, Olympic Peninsula, Washington: Field and petrographic investigation to constrain fluid volumes and fluid overpressure potentially related to seismicity. Graduate student: Holly Rotman.

Photos of 2008 and 2009 Olympic Peninsula field work

Mineral separation yield efficiency and method development: This project evaluates the time and yield efficiency of heavy mineral separation using a spiral panner. Method development with a test sample of Mt. Stuart batholith granodiorite has improved the yield efficiency, and demonstrated spiral panning to be an effective method for small- to moderate-sized samples with typical zircon concentrations. Undergraduate researchers: Brittany Fagin, Ashley Edwards.

Photos and description of initial spiral panning tests (PDF)

2013 GSA Cordilleran section poster documenting time and yield efficiency tests (PDF)

2014 GSA poster documenting grain size distributions and yield efficiency (PDF)

Graduate Students

  • Jake Meyer (current student), Thesis: "Fluid release during eclogite formation, North Qaidam Terrane, Western China" Thesis proposal PDF

  • Brittany Fagin (current student), Thesis: "Exhumation rates for ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks and tests of exhumation models, North Qaidam terrane, Western China" Thesis proposal PDF

  • Megan Regel (current student), Thesis: "Thermobarometry and Geochronology in the Dulan region, North Qaidam Ultrahigh- Pressure metamorphic terrane: Resolving Spatial Variation of Ages, Temperatures and Pressures" Thesis proposal PDF

  • Benjamin Christensen (MS 2011), Thesis: "Geochemistry and geochronology of high pressure granulites from the Dulan area of western China" Thesis PDF

  • Holly Rotman (MS 2010), Thesis: "Fluid budget of metasedimentary rocks from a Tertiary accretionary prism and connections to seismicity, Olympic Peninsula, northwest Washington state" Thesis PDF

Miscellaneous

Photos of April 2011 landslide on Icicle Creek

Selected Publications

  • Zhang, J. X., Mattinson, C. G., Yu, S. Y., and Li, Y. S., submitted, Early Paleozoic HP/UHT granulite in the south Altyn Tagh, north Tibet, China: new constraints from rutile-zircon thermometry and U-Pb geochronology: Lithos.

  • Kylander-Clark, A. R. C., Hacker, B. R., and Mattinson, C. G., 2012, Size and exhumation rate of ultrahigh-pressure terranes linked to orogenic stage: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 321-322, p. 115-120.

  • Martens, U. C., Brueckner, H. K., Mattinson, C. G., Liou, J. G., and Wooden, J. L., 2012, Timing of eclogite-facies metamorphism of the Chuac├║s Complex, Central Guatemala: record of Late Cretaceous continental subduction of North America's sialic basement: Lithos, v. 146-147, p. 1-10.

  • Zhang, J. X., Mattinson, C. G., Yu, S. Y., Li, J. P., and Meng, F. C., 2010, U-Pb zircon geochronology of coesite-bearing eclogites from the southern Dulan area of the North Qaidam UHP terrane, northwestern China: Spatially and temporally extensive UHP metamorphism during continental subduction: Journal of Metamorphic Geology, v. 28, no. 9, p. 955-978.

  • Mattinson, C. G., Wooden, J. L., Zhang, J. X. and Bird, D. K., 2009. Paragneiss zircon geochronology and trace element geochemistry, North Qaidam HP/UHP terrane, western China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, v. 35, p. 298-309.

  • Zhang, J., Meng, F., Li, J. and Mattinson, C. G., 2009. Coesite in eclogite from the North Qaidam and its implications. Chinese Science Bulletin, v. 54, no. 6, p. 1105-1110.

  • Zhang, J., Mattinson, C. G., Meng, F., Wan, Y., and Tung, K., 2008, Polyphase tectonothermal history recorded in granulitized gneisses from the North Qaidam HP/UHP metamorphic terrane, Western China: evidence from zircon U-Pb geochronology: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 120, no. 5/6, p. 732-749.

  • Mattinson, C. G., Colgan, J. P., Metcalf, J. R., Miller, E. L., and Wooden, J. L., 2007, Late Cretaceous to Paleocene metamorphism and magmatism in the Funeral Mountains metamorphic core complex, Death Valley, California, in Cloos, M., Carlson, W. D., Gilbert, M. C., Liou, J. G., and Sorenson, S. S., eds., Convergent Margin Terranes and Associated Regions: A Tribute to W.G. Ernst, Geological Society of America Special Paper 419, p. 205-223, doi: 10.1130/2006.2419(11).

  • Mattinson, C. G., Menold, C. A., Zhang, J. X., and Bird, D. K., 2007, High- and Ultrahigh-Pressure Metamorphism in the North Qaidam and South Altyn Terranes, Western China: International Geology Review, v. 49, no. 11, p. 969-995.

  • Mattinson, C. G., Wooden, J. L., Liou, J. G., Bird, D. K., and Wu, C. L., 2006, Age and duration of eclogite-facies metamorphism, North Qaidam HP/UHP terrane, western China: American Journal of Science, v. 306, no. 9, p. 683-711.

  • Zhang, J. X., Mattinson, C. G., Meng, F. C., and Wan, Y. S., 2005, An Early Palaeozoic HP/HT granulite-garnet peridotite association in the south Altyn Tagh, NW China: P-T history and U-Pb geochronology: Journal of Metamorphic Geology, v. 23, no. 7, p. 491-510.

  • Zhang, J. X., Yang, J. S., Mattinson, C. G., Xu, Z. Q., Meng, F. C., and Shi, R. D., 2005, Two contrasting eclogite cooling histories, North Qaidam HP/UHP terrane, western China: Petrological and isotopic constraints: Lithos, v. 84, no. 1-2, p. 51-76.

  • Enami, M., Liou, J. G., and Mattinson, C. G., 2004, Epidote minerals in high P/T metamorphic terranes: Subduction zone and high- to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism, in Liebscher, A., and Franz, G., eds., Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Volume 56: Epidotes: Washington, D.C., The Mineralogical Society of America, p. 347-398.

  • Mattinson, C. G., Tsujimori, T., Zhang, R. Y., and Liou, J. G., 2004, Epidote-rich talc-kyanite-phengite eclogites, Sulu terrane, eastern China: P-T-fO2 estimates and the significance of the epidote-talc assemblage in eclogite: American Mineralogist, v. 89, no. 11-12, p. 1772-1783.