Late Archean magmatism and the onset of modern-style plate tectonics
The timing of and processes related to the onset of modern-style plate tectonics have long been vigorously debated. We have started multidisciplinary research into Late Archean TTG suites (tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite), which may provide the key information on the complex and protracted transition from vertically-dominated plume tectonics that operated on Early Earth to plate tectonics that we see today.
Ackerman K, Žák J, Kachlík V, Svojtka M, Tomek F, Santolík V, Sláma J, Trubač J, Strnad L, Vacek F (2022) The diversity of sources of late Archean granites reflects a transition from plume-dominated to plate tectonics in the Superior Province, Canada. Precambrian Research 370: 106525
Žák J, Tomek F, Svojtka M, Vacek F, Kachlík V, Ackerman L, Ježek J, Petronis MS (2021) Distributed crustal shortening followed by transpressional shearing in the Superior Province, northeastern Canada: a Late Archean analogy to modern accretionary plate margins? Precambrian Research 362: 106322
Tectonic setting of granitoid plutons in arcs and collisional orogens
Using a combination of structural analysis and geochronology, whole-rock and isotopic geochemistry, and gravimetry, we examine plutons as temporal and strain markers of regional deformation. Our present work concentrates on general issues of fabric development in plutons in response to regional strain, interactions of magma mingling, flow, and emplacement with regional tectonics, and spatial and temporal changes in plutonism during evolution of orogenic belts.
Trubač J, Žák J, Kondrová L (2020) Magmatic tempos in large hot orogens in comparison with continental margin arcs Journal of Geology 128: 465–475
Paterson SR, Ardill K, Vernon RH, Žák J (2019) A review of mesoscopic magmatic structures and their potential for evaluating the hypersolidus evolution of intrusive complexes Journal of Structural Geology 125: 997–1016
Žák J, Verner K, Tomek F, Johnson K, Schwartz JJ (2017) Magnetic fabrics of arc plutons reveal a significant Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous change in the relative plate motions of the Pacific Ocean basin and North America Geosphere 13:11–21
Tomek F, Žák J, Chadima M (2015) Granitic magma emplacement and deformation during early-orogenic syn-convergent transtension: the Staré Sedlo complex, Bohemian Massif Journal of Geodynamics 87: 50–66
Magma flow and strain patterns in volcano–plutonic systems
Volcano–plutonic connection and mechanical processes in and above shallow-level magma chambers still remain poorly understood. Our research has recently concentrated on magma flow patterns in subcaldera plutons, mechanisms of growth and strain patterns in andesite domes, magma flow in both ring and radial dikes associated with collapse calderas, and internal fabric and emplacement of ignimbrite sheets
Tomek F, Opluštil S, Svojtka M, Špillar V, Rapprich V, Míková J (2022) Altenberg–Teplice Caldera sourced Westphalian fall tuffs in the central and western Bohemian Carboniferous basins (eastern Variscan belt) International Geology Review 64: 441–468
Tomek F, Gilmer AK, Petronis MS, Lipman PW, Foucher MS (2019) Protracted multipulse emplacement of a post-resurgent pluton: the case of Platoro caldera complex (Southern Rocky Mountain volcanic field, Colorado) Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 20: 5225–5250
Tomek F, Žák J, Verner K, Holub FV, Sláma J, Paterson SR, Memeti V (2017) Mineral fabrics in high-level intrusions recording crustal strain and volcano-tectonic interactions: the Shellenbarger pluton, Sierra Nevada, California Journal of the Geological Society, London 174: 193–208
Dynamics of Precambrian accretionary wedges
One of the main goals of our research is to better understand how Precambrian accretionary wedges formed and evolved along convergent plate margins. Based on structural analysis, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility, geochemistry, and geochronology, we examine mechanisms of sediment accretion, internal strains, formation of ophiolitic mélanges, and late-stage extension in ancient accretionary wedges and compare those processes with modern settings.
Žák J, Svojtka M, Hajná J, Ackerman L (2020) Detrital zircon geochronology and processes in accretionary wedges Earth-Science Reviews 207: 103214
Hajná J, Žák J, Ackerman L, Svojtka M, Pašava J (2019) A giant late Precambrian chert-bearing olistostrome discovered in the Bohemian Massif: a record of Oceanic Plate Stratigraphy (OPS) disrupted by mass-wasting along an outer trench slope Gondwana Research 74: 173–188
Hajná J, Žák J, Dörr W (2017) Time scales and mechanisms of growth of active margins of Gondwana: a model based on detrital zircon ages from the Neoproterozoic to Cambrian Blovice accretionary complex, Bohemian Massif Gondwana Research 42: 63–83
Tectonics of sedimentary basins in collisional orogens
One of the main goals of our research is to better understand how Precambrian accretionary wedges formed and evolved along convergent plate margins. Based on Development of orogenic sedimentary basins reflects a complex interaction among brittle faulting, tectonically-controlled uplift, erosion, and deposition. Our ongoing research is targeted on mechanisms of basin inversion in response to shortening of orogenic upper crust, initiation and tectonics of intracontinental basins during orogenic collapse, and relations between paleotopography, exhumation, and basin development.
Syahputra R, Žák J, Nance RD (2022) Cambrian sedimentary basins of northern Gondwana as geodynamic markers of incipient opening of the Rheic Ocean Gondwana Research 150: 492–513
Tomek F, Vacek F, Žák J, Petronis MS, Verner K, Foucher MS (2019) Polykinematic foreland basins initiated during orthogonal convergence and terminated by orogen-oblique strike-slip faulting: an example from the northeastern Variscan belt Tectonophysics 766: 379–397
Vacek F, Žák J (2019) A lifetime of the Variscan orogenic plateau from uplift to collapse as recorded by the Prague Basin, Bohemian Massif Geological Magazine 156: 485–509
Žák J, Svojtka M, Opluštil S (2018) Topographic inversion and changes in the sediment routing systems in the Variscan orogenic belt as revealed by detrital zircon and monazite U–Pb geochronology in post-collisional continental basins Sedimentary Geology 377: 63–81
Application of rock-magnetic methods in solving tectonic problems
We employ anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility and other rock-magnetic methods to analyze a wide range of geologic processes, including granitic magma emplacement and deformation, magma flow in dikes, growth of volcanic domes, formation and exhumation of metamorphic core complexes, and basin development during regional extension.
Tomek F, Žák J, Svojtka M, Finger F, Waitzinger M (2019) Emplacement dynamics of syn-collapse ring dikes: an example from the Altenberg–Teplice caldera, Bohemian Massif Geological Society of America Bulletin 131: 997–1016
Žák J, Verner K, Ježek J, Trubač J (2019) Complex mid-crustal flow within a growing granite– migmatite dome: an example from the Variscan belt illustrated by the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility and fabric modeling Geological Journal 54: 3681–3699
Žák J, Sláma J, Burjak M (2017) Rapid extensional unroofing of a granite–migmatite dome with relics of high-pressure rocks, the Podolsko complex, Bohemian Massif Geological Magazine 154: 354–380
Application of continuum mechanics in understanding magmatic processes
Our joint research with the group of Prof. Petr Kabele, Department of Mechanics, Czech Technical University in Prague, utilizes high-end computational facilities to integrate numerical models with geologic data and observations. Our ongoing research targets include modeling of mineral fabric development in magmatic rocks in 3D, cooling of magma bodies, granitoid diapirism, and formation of collapse calderas.
Kabele P, Žák J, Somr M (2017) Finite element modeling of magma chamber–host rock interactions prior to caldera collapse Geophysical Journal International 209: 1851–1865
Trubač J, Janoušek V, Žák J, Somr M, Kabele P, Švancara J, Gerdes A, Žáčková E (2017) Origin of reverse compositional and textural zoning in granite plutons by localized thermal overturn of stratified magma chambers Lithos 277:315–336