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 calculate the seismic properties of these rocks, allowing us to better map their extent in subduction zones. We use preserved deformation microstructures in the blueschist samples to understand how these rocks were deforming while they were 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.
Thursday, January 12, 2023:
The second manuscript from my Master's research: Structural behavior of C2/m tremolite to 40 GPa: A high-pressure single-crystal x-ray diffraction study, finally has a publication date for American Mineralogist. They are including it in the May 2023 issue, so, I am very excited to have the culmination of the hard work of myself and my collaborators close at hand!
The manuscript for the work I have been doing over the last 2 years to understand the seismic anisotropy of mafic blueschists, a vital rock type along the interface in subduction zones that has much involvement in the mechanical and chemical processes that occur in these complex margins, has been written and is now being prepared for submission to a journal for publication. This will be the first chapter in my Ph.D. dissertation (of likely 4 chapters), so I am thrilled to be wrapping this project up so I can devote more time to working on the experimental glaucophane deformation work in coming months.