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Find Your Science at GSA
25 August 2011
GSA Release No. 11-54
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach

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Characterizing Chaotic Structure

Boulder, CO, USA - Mélanges, in general terms, are a mixed body of rock of various sizes, composition, and origin, and are commonly embedded in an argillitic, sandy, or serpentinite matrix. According to new GSA Special Paper 480 volume editors, John Wakabayashi of California State University–Fresno and Yildirim Dilek of Miami University–Ohio, mélanges are among the most important components of orogenic belts.

Insights into the mode, nature, and physical conditions of those geological processes involved in plate margin evolution and orogenic belt development can be gained through the study of mélanges. Wakabayashi and Dilek note that beyond their scientific intrigue and importance, mélanges also have societal significance, because most engineering projects and studies have failed to adequately characterize their chaotic structure.

The chapters in this new volume from The Geological Society of America highlight the richness and variety of recent research on mélanges that employ new methodology, approaches, and interpretations that emerged in the 27 years following the publication in 1984 of the benchmark GSA Special Paper 198 on mélanges. In addition to featuring new directions in interdisciplinary research on mélanges, this volume is truly international, both in terms of the nationality of the authors and the geographic coverage of the reported mélange studies.

Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store,, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, .

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

Mélanges: Processes of Formation and Societal Significance
John Wakabayashi and Yildirim Dilek (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 480
SPE480, 279 p., $90.00; Member price $63.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2480-5