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.
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.
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.
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.
Application of rock-magnetic methods in solving tectonic problems
In a close collaboration with Agico, Inc., 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.
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.