New volume explores high-grade metamorphism via South African Limpopo Complex

February 24, 2011

Boulder, CO, USA - Many early Precambrian high-grade metamorphic provinces differ subtly from more recent ones, with higher temperatures at shallower depth in the crust. This may in part be attributed to higher crustal heat production. The question of what else might have been different presents a challenge, as the control "everything else being equal" is removed from the experiment. This new Memoir from The Geological Society of America addresses these issues.

The first section deals with mineralogic and petrologic aspects of high-grade metamorphism, including melting and the nature of fluids. Chapters 6 to 13 focus on the Limpopo Complex of southern Africa, with case studies and reviews of its geochronology and crustal evolution, and of the regional structural and burial-exhumation history. Problems of unraveling the effects of successive tectonometamorphic events in a polymetamorphic province are addressed from the geochronologic and the petrologic perspectives. The last two chapters include numerical simulations of lower crustal diapirism in high-grade metamorphism, and a review of tectonic models for the Limpopo Complex.

This well-rounded book, edited by Dirk D. van Reenen of the University of Johannesburg and colleagues, is relevant to the big question of uniformitarianism in plate tectonics and its effects.

Memoir 207 is dedicated to the memory of Leonid L. Perchuk, born 20 Nov. 1933 in Odessa, Ukraine, and having passed away 19 June 2009, in Johannesburg, South Africa. His major contributions to three diverse branches of modern geoscience--petrology, geochemistry, and geodynamics--were made possible by his great scientific curiosity and the fact that he dedicated his entire life to understanding the geodynamic evolution of Earth's crust and mantle. Says volume lead editor van Reenen, "Perchuk was an outstanding teacher and was always surrounded by enthusiastic young scientists with whom he generously shared his ideas, knowledge, and time."
Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online bookstore,, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann,

Origin and Evolution of Precambrian High-Grade Gneiss Terranes, with Special Emphasis on the Limpopo Complex of Southern Africa
Dirk D. van Reenen, Jan D. Kramers, Stephen McCourt, and Leonid L. Perchuk (editors)
Geological Society of America Memoir 207
MWR207, 324 p., $99.00; Member price $73.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-1207-9

Geological Society of America

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