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HP-UHP Metamorphism and Tectonic Evolution of Orogenic Belts

Zhang Metamorphism coverWhere present, high pressure (HP) and ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks are fundamental indicators for deciphering the tectonic evolution of orogenic belts. UHP metamorphic belts are defined by containing rocks that have experienced pressure-temperature conditions (P-T) exceeding the lower limit of the Coesite stability field (Coesite is the very high pressure polymorph of quartz). These rocks have typically experienced complex changes during subduction and exhumation processes (from recrystallization, deformation, element redistribution and fluid-rock interactions, often through to partial melting) and can retain a significant record of the evolving geodynamic systems in an orogenic belt. Globally, more than twenty UHP metamorphic belts have currently been identified and confirmed.

Based upon the outcomes of the 35th International Geological Congress (held in 2016 at Cape Town, South Africa) session on ‘HP-UHP metamorphism and tectonic evolution of orogenic belts’, this GSL Special Publication presents new and innovative studies from different geoscience disciplines that have been applied to develop a better understanding of the geodynamic evolution of these belts. The volume contains 15 papers in three thematic sections. Part one outlines recent developments in the determination of metamorphic P-T conditions and their timing, with part two containing overview papers of well-known HP-UHP metamorphic belts. The final part presents the latest research for some newly discovered (or less well characterised) HP-UHP belts.

In the opinion of this reviewer, the volume provides an excellent synthesis of current research efforts, successfully combining contributions from field-based studies and the application of modern micro-analytical, geochronological and tectonic modelling techniques. All sections are well-written and edited, concisely laid-out with clear and appropriate figures, photographs and datatables, all features that one has come to expect from the GSL Special Publication series. The inclusion of numerous annotated colour figures and photographs enhance the understanding of the textual details. The volume is particularly recommended to all researchers in crustal evolution, notably in metamorphic petrology, geochronology, orogenic tectonics and geodynamics, and is anticipated to be an essential reference source for many years to come. In summary, the volume is a comprehensive contemporary addition to this interdisciplinary field, and the editors and contributors are to be congratulated.

Reviewed by Mark Griffin

HP-UHP METAMORPHISM AND TECTONIC EVOLUTION OF OROGENIC BELTS, by Zhang, L., Zhang, Z., Schertl, H-P. and Wei, C. (editors). Geological Society of London Special Publication No 474. 2019. Geological Society of London.

ISBN 978-1-78620-399-1. Hbk. 362pp. ISSN 0305-8719. List Price: £125.00 W: www.geolsoc.org.uk