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Discussion of geology research, geoscience teaching, and life in the American Southwest.
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 »
Whittington, A., Hofmeister, A., & Nabelek, P. (2009) Temperature-dependent thermal diffusivity of the Earth’s crust and implications for magmatism. Nature, 458(7236), 319-321. DOI: 10.1038/nature07818
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 »
N. J. Finnegan, & M. E. Pritchard. (2009) Magnitude and duration of surface uplift above the Socorro magma body. Geology, 37(3), 231-234. DOI: 10.1130/G25132A.1
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