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. I recently completed my Master of Science in research at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the mineral physics research group, where I utilized my background in Earth science, physics, and chemistry to study the metastability of the amphibole mineral tremolite under pressures and temperatures relevant to conditions in the deep crust and upper mantle.
My master's research was focused on experimentally constraining the structural and thermodynamic properties of minerals using high-pressure apparatus—such as the diamond anvil cell—and high-energy methods of sample interrogation including lasers (Raman spectroscopy) and X-rays (X-ray diffraction) in order to quantify changes in the stability, structure, and bonding environment of amphiboles and better understand the dynamics of the planet we call home.
Under the tutelage of my advisor at the UCSC, Dr. Quentin Williams, my Master's thesis explored the metastability of the amphibole mineral tremolite, a hydrated mineral phase that is up to 2 weight-percent water in the form of hydroxyl units (O-H). Tremolite is a common mineral in subduction zones, often seen in metamorphosed oceanic crust and lithified calcium-bearing sediments, and is also present in specimens of subduction-zone associated upper-mantle material that have been brought to the surface by volcanic activity. Dehydration of tremolite and other hydrated minerals releases water into subduction zones, where it infiltrates the mantle material and drives the partial melting that ultimately leads to the formation of volcanic arcs on the surface (e.g., the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire). Understanding the cycling of water that is chemically bound to hydrated minerals through subduction zones will therefore also inform our understanding of these important geologic hazards at the surface.
University of California, Santa Cruz CA
M.S. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
University of Washington, Seattle WA
B.S. cum laude (with Honors: Department of Earth and Space Sciences)
Seattle Central College, Seattle WA