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Bureau Seminar, April 12, 2013

Uses of carbonate clumped isotope thermometry in continental
tectonics: from plateau uplift to structural diagenesis

Link to streaming video: available 04.12.2013 at 8:55am

Kate Huntington
College of the Environment
University of Washington

The thermal history of minerals and fluids in both surface and subsurface environments on continents is a fundamental prediction of geodynamic, structural, and basin evolution models. Recently, the toolkit of thermochronometers and temperature proxies used to test such models has grown to include carbonate clumped isotope paleothermometry, a technique based on the thermodynamic tendency of the heavy isotopes of carbon and oxygen to bond, or "clump" together in carbonate minerals. Clumped isotope thermometry does not require assumptions about the composition of the fluid from which the mineral grew, and it is insensitive to time and pressure, making it especially well suited for temperature reconstructions in both surface and subsurface continental environments. This talk examines how clumped isotope temperatures can be used to address a broad array of problems in continental tectonics – specifically to (1) reconstruct paleoclimate and plateau uplift and (2) understand structural control of diagenetic fluid flow in clastic sedimentary basins and carbonate platforms.



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