Collaborative research: Polyphase Orogenesis and Crustal Differentiation in West Antarctica
The northern Ford ranges in Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica, record events and processes that transformed a voluminous succession of Lower Paleozoic turbidites intruded by calc-alkaline plutonic rocks into differentiated continental crust along the margin of Gondwana. In this study the Fosdick migmatite?granite complex will be used to investigate crustal evolution through an integrated program of fieldwork, structural geology, petrology, mineral equilibria modeling, geochronology and geochemistry. The PIs propose detailed traverses at four sites within the complex to investigate Paleozoic and Mesozoic orogenic cycles. They will use petrological associations, structural geometry, and microstructures of host gneisses and leucogranites to distinguish the migration and coalescence patterns for remnant melt flow networks, and carry out detailed sampling for geochronology, geochemistry and isotope research. Mafic plutonic phases will be sampled to acquire information about mantle contributions at the source. Mineral equilibria modeling of source rocks and granite products, combined with in situ mineral dating, will be employed to resolve the P?T?t trajectories arising from thickening/thinning of crust during orogenic cycles and to investigate melting and melt loss history.
This work involves research and educational initiatives for an early career female scientist, as well as Ph.D. and undergraduate students. Educational programs for high school audiences and undergraduate courses on interdisciplinary Antarctic science will be developed.
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