Project: Deformation and metamorphism in the WOMB
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Bradley Williams and I completed a B.Sc. (Hons) at UoN in July 2015. I am 31 years old and live in the Hunter region of NSW, Australia.
Can you tell us about your research project at UoN?
I undertook an Honours research project in structural and metamorphic geology, which focused on an area in southern NSW. I investigated the timing of peak metamorphism relative to deformation in rocks of the study area (southern part of WOMB, Wagga Omeo Metamorphic Belt). I also wanted to resolve the age of metamorphism to determine if granite emplacement was driving metamorphism in the country rock. Achieving this would allow some important geodynamic models for eastern Australia to be tested. The project involved one month in the field to: (i) map metamorphic zonation and structure, and (ii) collect samples for later detailed petrography and monazite geochronology.
What did you find?
My findings indicate metamorphism occurred much earlier in the structural record than what was previously thought, and that large granite bodies in the area were not the source of metamorphic heat. The findings supported one of two competing geodynamic models for eastern Australia, however differed from several geodynamic models previously proposed for rocks specific to the study area. Therefore, a revised geodynamic model was proposed.
What did you particularly enjoy about this project?
I really enjoyed this particular style of research; examining rocks in situ, collecting samples, analyzing thin sections, and dating minerals in colllected samples. Using these data to make interpretations on the geodynamics of eastern Australia was challenging but equally rewarding.
What are your plans for the future?
I am currently trying to secure an earth science career!
Sample showing key metamorphic mineral (retrogressed crd) and 3 deformation fabrics
Bradley Williams in the field