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Jesse Robertson

PhD Candidate

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
Research School of Earth Sciences
The Australian National University
Acton, Canberra, ACT 0200

Phone: +61 2 6125 9961
Fax: +61 2 6257 2737



Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Home

Research Interests

My research investigates the role of physical processes which are active in geological settings such as volcanoes and orogenic belts. This includes a range of topics in geological fluid mechanics, tectonics and geodynamics:

Fluid dynamics of viscoplastic lava flows

My current research investigates the dynamics of cooling and solidifying gravity-driven flows, with the most obvious real-world application being a better understanding of the morphology and evolution of lava flows. Previous experimental work within the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Group here at RSES has examined the dynamics of purely viscous flow, and my research aims to extend these results to more complex viscoplastic rheologies, which may be more realistic models for crystal-rich lavas.

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Ductile deformation in shear zones

Interpreting structures observed in mylonites exposed at the earth's surface is a complex problem, mainly because is is usually very difficult, if not impossible to accurately determine the timing of deformation. Fluid models of mid-crustal materials may provide a constraint on the timing and location of deformation in these zones.

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Metamorphic thermodynamics

A detailed understanding of the pressure and temperature conditions at which metamorphic textures form is essential to deciphering the metamorphic and tectonic history of the planet. Chemically zoned amphibole makes a really good geochemical 'canary', as its complex chemistry allows us to constrain the pressure and temperature conditions at its formation without requiring chemical analysis of other phases present when the amphibole grew.

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2008 Annual Report
Robertson, J. C. (2007) Fluid Models of the Alpine Fault Mylonite Belt. 109p. BSc(Hons) Dissertation, Geology Department, University of Otago
Robertson, J. C., Norris, R. J. N and Cooper, A. F. C. (2007) Shear Zones and Boundary Layers: Modeling the Alpine Fault Mylonites. In Mortimer, M. and Wallace, L. Geological Society of New Zealand Conference Abstracts.


Photos from recent fieldwork studying the morphology and emplacement of lava flows on Mauna Loa and Kilauea in Hawai'i.
See my photos on Picasa