Theodore C. Labotka
Mineralogy and Petrology
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
1412 Circle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-1410
Ted is interested in the development of metamorphic terrains, in particular with respect to the interaction between metamorphic rock and fluid. The scope of his studies ranges from field-scale to grain-scale. He has mapped regional-metamorphic and contact-metamorphic terrains to determine the petrogenesis of low-pressure metamorphic rocks. He has studied both pelitic schist and calc-silicate rock to understand how the rocks record the flow of aqueous fluid through them.
He is interested in how the compositions of minerals and their abundances indicate fluid flux. Ted has been studying rocks from well characterized field localities, Notch Peak, Utah, and Death Valley, California, to learn about the influence of rock composition and geologic structure on fluid flow. He is also studying the properties of aqueous fluids and reactions with minerals in the laboratory in an attempt to determine quantitative information about the rate of reaction and fluid flow.
The interaction between rock and fluid is fundamental at the atomic scale in minerals. Whether it is the exchange of O or C isotopes between fluid and mineral, the exchange of cations between fluid and mineral, or the replacement of one mineral by another as a result of fluid–mineral interaction, the process involves reaction and transport at an interface. Ted has been studying the rates and mechanisms of reactions across the mineral interface in the laboratory.