Processes of continental magmatism & tectonics

How magma is created and moved through the crust is of fundamental importance for understanding the processes of mass and heat transfer syn- and post-orogeny. The generation and differentiation of magmas play a key role in the generation of crust and mantle lithosphere. The presence or absence of magma and other fluids has important implications for metamorphism and deformation throughout the crustal column. While careful field and laboratory observation at a variety of scales has long been important for constraining these processes, high-precision geochronology has recently exposed a number of unanswered questions regarding the tempo and volume of magma injections into the middle and upper crust. Many of the uncertainties now hinge on viewing geochronologic data in terms of the processes they are dating, which requires a better understanding of accessory mineral geochemistry, textures, and petrographic setting. Further integrating geochronology and thermochronology with field observation, structural geology, geochemistry, petrology, and numerical modeling will lead to more robust models for continental evolution.

Areas of research:

  1. rates of magma generation and migration in the lower crust
  2. tempo and mechanisms of pluton construction in the middle to upper crust
  3. interaction of magmatism and deformation
  4. processes and conditions of zircon saturation
  5. integrating high-precision geochronology and accessory mineral chemistry 6) the role of accessory mineral thermochronology in constraining magmatic processes