Exploring the Significance of Na-Alkaline Magmatism in Subduction Systems, a Case Study From the Ross Orogen, Antarctica
Magmas generated during subduction of oceanic lithosphere beneath active continental margins typically have a calc-alkaline chemistry. However, igneous rocks with signatures usually associated with anorogenic magmatism are increasingly being found with calc-alkaline rocks in subduction zones. These enigmatic rocks provide insight into a variety of magmatic and structural processes that are fundamental to subduction zone dynamics but processes that lead to their petrogenesis remain a matter of debate. This project will investigate the Koettlitz Glacier Alkaline Province (KGAP) in the Transantarctic Mountains, which is a section through a Na-alkaline province bounded to the north and south by calc-alkaline magmatism. This province potentially contains key information on the thermo-mechanical processes leading to generation of Na-alkaline rocks in subduction systems. The PI will examine structures that bound the KGAP as well as intrusives and metasedimentary rocks contained within it to determine the tectonomagmatic history in the framework of two end-member hypotheses: the KGAP represents a crustal-scale extensional or transtensional domain in a subduction setting; or the KGAP formed in response to ridge subduction.
This study will train three graduate and three undergraduate students incorporating hands-on experience with state of the art instrumentation. Each summer, four high school students will be incorporated into various aspects of the laboratory-based research through the UCSB research mentorship program. This project will stimulate refinement of in-situ LA-ICPMS methods and development of collaborative linkages with Antarctic geologists at GNS Science in New Zealand. Results will be disseminated via papers and presentations at international conferences.
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