Upon exhumation and cooling, contrasting compressibilities and thermal expansivities induce differential strains (volume mismatches) between a host crystal and its inclusions. These strains can be quantified in situ using Raman spectroscopy or X-ray diffraction. Knowing equations of state and elastic properties of minerals, elastic thermobarometry inverts measured strains to calculate the pressure-temperature conditions under which the stress state was uniform in the host and inclusion. These are commonly interpreted to represent the conditions of inclusion entrapment. Modeling and experiments quantify corrections for inclusion shape, proximity to surfaces, and (most importantly) crystal-axis anisotropy, and they permit accurate application of the more common elastic thermobarometers. New research is exploring the conditions of crystal growth, reaction overstepping, and the magnitudes of differential stresses, as well as inelastic resetting of inclusion and host strain, and potential new thermobarometers for lower-symmetry minerals.
- A physics-based method is revolutionizing calculations of metamorphic pressures and temperatures.
- Inclusion shape, crystal anisotropy, and proximity to boundaries affect calculations but can be corrected for.
- New results are leading petrologists to reconsider pressure-temperature conditions, differential stresses, and thermodynamic equilibrium.
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Kohn, Matthew J.; Mazzucchelli, Mattia L.; and Alvaro, Matteo. (2023). "Elastic Thermobarometry". Annual Review of Earth & Planetary Sciences, 51, 331-366. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-earth-031621-112720