Martin F.J. Flower

Research Interests

My research involves the interpretation of petrologic and geochemical evidence for processes in the Earth's interior. This includes studies of mid-ocean ridge and intraplate oceanic basalts, ophiolite sequences, and magma genesis at convergent and colliding plate margins. Together with my graduate students, current work focuses on the causes of mantle melting, developing methods for estimating mantle temperatures from magma and xenolith chemistry, and tracking mantle flow using Sr, Nd, Pb, O, and Os isotopic 'tracers' in various parts of the world. I work closely with geophysicists using paleomagnetism, shear-wave splitting, and tomography, and numerical modelers - recently, in the western Pacific and currently in Vietnam, China, and eastern Europe (Romania). I am particularly interested in mantle and lithospheric responses to continental plate collisions. Results from our studies in east and southeast Asia, and, more recently, eastern Europe are helping to clarify possible roles of collision-induced mantle flow in driving lithosphere 'escape', plateau uplift, intraplate volcanism, and backarc basin opening. Although viewed by some as a departure from classic 'extrusion tectonics' and 'crustal thickening and shortening', collision-response models of mantle extrusion have received encouraging support. My work emphasizes integration of data from diverse sources, including petrography, petrology, major and trace element geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, and geophysical investigations. With my colleagues at Northwestern University, the University of Bucharest, and the Vietnamese National Center for Science and Technology, I am promoting a five-year (2000-2004) UNESCO-funded project entitled " Mantle Dynamic Implications for Tethyan Hazard Mitigation".

Personal Information
Electron Microprobe Laboratory

Selected recent publications:

Flower, M.F.J. , Russo, R.M., Tamaki, K. and Hoang, N., 2000. Mantle contamination and the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) 'high-tide mark': evidence for mantle extrusion caused by Tethyan closure. Tectonophysics , in press.

Flower, M.F.J. , Li, P., Lo, C.-H., Hoang, N., Xie, G.-H. and Huong, N.T., 2000. High-K magmatism in western Yunnan (China): a record of post-collision cycling of lithospheric mantle. Journal of Petrology, in press.

Hoang, N. and Flower, M.F.J. , 1998. Petrogenesis of Cenozoic basalts from Vietnam; implication for origins of a 'diffuse igneous province'. Journal of Petrology, 39: 369-395.

Flower, M.F.J. , Tamaki, K. and Hoang, N., 1998. Mantle extrusion: a model for dispersed volcanism and DUPAL-like asthenosphere in east Asia and the western Pacific. In: M.F.J. Flower, S.-L. Chung, C.-H. Lo and T.-Y. Lee (Editors), Mantle Dynamics and Plate Interactions in East Asia. American Geophysical Union, Washington, pp. 67-88.

Hoang, N., Flower, M.F.J. and Carlson, R.W., 1997. Major, trace element, and isotopic compositions of Vietnamese basalts; interaction of hydrous EM1-rich asthenosphere with thinned Eurasian lithosphere. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 60: 4329-4351.