Earth and Planetary Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2023


Understanding the natural petrologic and tectonic processes, such as slab subduction, requires accurate determination of the pressure (P) and temperature (T) conditions of these processes. Recent development of elastic thermobarometry based on the difference between the elastic evolution of mineral inclusions and their host minerals allows constraining the formation P-T conditions of the inclusion/host system without assuming thermodynamic equilibrium, which is typically needed for the widely used chemistry-based thermobarometry in metamorphic petrology. However, the reliability of elastic thermobarometry heavily depends on the accurate determination of the high P-T single-crystal elastic properties of relevant minerals. In this study, we performed the first high P-T single-crystal elasticity measurements of zircon, which is one of the most common inclusion/host minerals in metamorphic rocks, using Brillouin spectroscopy up to ~7 GPa, 700 K. Compared with other common rock forming minerals, zircon is extremely incompressible and its stiffness has very small T dependence making it an ideal mineral for the application of elastic thermobarometry.

Degree Name

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Adrian Brearley

Second Committee Member

Jin Zhang

Third Committee Member

Karl Karlstrom




zircon, Brillouin spectroscopy

Document Type


Available for download on Friday, August 01, 2025