My name is Jason Ott, and I am a Ph.D. student in the graduate program in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington studying the deformation and rheology of amphibole minerals in subduction zones. My current research involves mapping the minerals and their orientation in naturally deformed blueschist samples by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and using these maps to try and understand how these rocks are deforming deep in the Earth. Connecting the work on these natural rocks with deformation experiments on glaucophane, the dominant amphibole mineral in many blueschists, will help us better understand the deformation behavior of these rocks in particular and the dynamics of subduction zones as a whole.
Subduction zones are the complex regions where oceanic crust dives into the Earth to be recycled, and are a key element to understanding the plate tectonics of our home planet. Subduction zones host some of the most dangerous hazards on our planet, including megathrust earthquakes, tsunamis, and explosive volcanism-and are often in close proximity to population centers. Therefore, the work we do to better understand them is of importance beyond the scientific community.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021:
The last 6 months have been a busy time collecting and analyzing electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) maps of naturally deformed blueschist samples collected from exhumed subduction terranes around the world (from the UW collections, or from samples generously loaned to me by other researchers working on subduction zones). In this work, I am building a compilation to constrain the seismic anisotropy signal naturally deformed mafic blueschists to improve the interpretation and construction of seismic models of subduction zones, improve imaging of blueschist-metamorphosed subducting slabs and deformation along the subduction interface. I'll be presenting some preliminary results from this work on Thursday, December 16 from 4-6 pm at the poster session at AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans (Poster DI45C-0029, poster hall D-F).
Also, I am gearing up to start on the next phase of my work on glaucophane with the deformation experiments at MIT in Cambridge Ma this winter. Combining the observations of the naturally deformed blueschists with experimental work on glaucophane deformation, I expect to increase our understanding of the dynamics of subduction zones.