Cao coauthors article in minerology journal
A new peer-reviewed paper, "Partial melting of zoisite eclogite from the Sanddal area, North-East Greenland Caledonides," co-written by Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Wentao Cao, has been accepted for publication in the European Journal of Mineralogy, a leading journal of mineralogical sciences.
Similar to an iceberg in an ocean, mountain belts have roots into deeper sections of the Earth. In the root of large mountain belts, certain physiochemical conditions could be reached to partially melt crustal materials.
In the paper, Dr. Cao and coauthors examined eclogite (a.k.a. Christmas rock) from North-East Greenland, which was part of the Caledonian mountain belt approximately 400 million years ago. Cao and coauthors identified petrographic textures that are characteristics of partial melting in the eclogites.
Using thermodynamic modeling, the team showed that the eclogites were exhumed approximately 75 kilometers below the surface and partially melted at that depth and during exhumation. Partial melting of the mountain root could be a factor that triggers its exhumation, and facilitates collapse of the mountain belt.
The article, currently in production, will be available soon online on the journal’s website.