All of My Faults Are Stress Related

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Discussion of geology research, geoscience teaching, and life in the American Southwest.

Kim Hannula
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  • April 16, 2009
  • 12:19 AM

Hot rocks, thermal insulation, and the giant imaginary comforter in the lower crust

by Kim Hannula in All of My Faults Are Stress Related

The cores of mountain belts formed by continental collisions often contain metamorphic rocks, formed when sediments were buried in the collision and transformed by heat and pressure.

But the heat and pressure don't happen simultaneously - rocks can be buried (and increase in pressure) much faster than they can heat up. When the rocks are not allowed to heat up significantly, this process can create blueschists, the high pressure/low temperature metamorphic rocks formed in subduction zones. In ........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2009
  • 01:01 PM

Magma beneath Socorro, New Mexico

by Kim Hannula in All of My Faults Are Stress Related

I had no idea there was magma beneath Socorro, New Mexico. When I read about it in this month's Geology, my first reaction was OMG WE'RE GONNA DIE!. (I've been occasionally using the electron microprobe at New Mexico Tech to look at rocks that were metamorphosed around a 380-million-year-old granite. I had no idea that the same kinds of processes were going on, right then, beneath my feet.)

The magma body is 19 km deep in the crust. That's about 2/3 of the way to the mantle - pretty far from t........ Read more »

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