April 2016 Issue Table of Contents
About this Issue
Geology, as the science of earth-history, is prone to controversy. The study of history of any kind depends upon documents and records. For the history of the earth’s crust, these documents are the rocks and their reading and interpretation are often difficult operations. (Reed 1957 The Granite Controversy p. xi)
Despite some 300 years of scientific investigation into the origin of granite, scientists still do not have an accepted and agreed explanation for this archetypal igneous rock of the Earth’s continental crust. Although one of the most common rock types on our planet, granite (and its volcanic equivalent, rhyolite) is exceptionally difficult to understand. To some scientists, this is extraordinary, yet oddly exhilarating. To others, this “unexplained phenomenon is a torture of the mind.” The authors of this issue delve into the mysterious relationship between plutonic and volcanic silicic rocks. Do granites and rhyolites share a common origin or are they derived from completely different processes? The authors discuss the broad set of scientific observations that have led to contradictory interpretations of the relationship. Although the story is far from complete and fi nding a unified explanation has been difficult, it is a relationship that continues to draw scientific interest due not just for expanding our science but also as a benefit to society. Understanding this relationship may be key to understanding how continental crust forms or key to predicting when supervolcanoes might erupt next. -- Jodi Rosso
Breaking News: Editor 2017-2019
We are excited to announce that Nancy Ross of Virginia Tech (USA) has accepted the invitation to join our Elements editorial team starting in January 2017 as our next mineralogy principal editor. She will replace Gordon Brown (Stanford University, USA) whose term of office ends in December 2016. We will introduce her more formally at a later date. -- Gordon Brown, Bernie Wood, Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, and Jodi Rosso
From the Executive Committee
The Elements Executive Committee (EC) is continuing its behind-the-scenes actions, which include approving innovative changes while being vigilant in overseeing financial security. We are pleased to report that Elements is on a sound financial footing and that four exciting new developments are underway. After ten years, the Elements website will receive a face- lift! The goals of the redesign are, in part, to make information more readily accessible, increase traffic to the site, provide an attractive venue for advertisers who seek an online format, serve as a hub to connect our community, and to connect nonmembers with all the participating societies who contribute to Elements . Secure areas of the website will be retained for our members while allowing widespread access to Member Society news. For those of you who would like to read Elements on the go, a new digital edition will showcase several improvements allowing for easier reading on electronic devices.
Our first “Past Editor’s Luncheon” was held at the 2015 Fall American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco (California, USA). This venue brought together former editors who contributed so much to the success of the magazine and was hosted by Barb Dutrow and Jodi Rosso. The corporate memory of the group is extremely valuable as Elements matures and when changes need to be made to our once nascent magazine. As such, the EC approved that this group would become our “Past Editor’s Advisory Council.” To facilitate interaction with the EC, the past chair of the Executive Committee will chair this Advisory Council. Having such a group from which to seek advice will be beneficial to Elements and have the added bonus of keeping our past editors involved. We are grateful for the dedication of society members who have served on the former Advisory Committee.
The dedicated EC members generously volunteer their time to maintain that critical link between Elements and the participating societies. The EC keep the societies’ interests at the forefront of decision making while maintaining an open line of communication between Elements and the societies. I feel extremely privileged to have served as Chair of this extraordinary group of dedicated society representatives for seven years. But change is always good as we look forward to the future. And speaking of the future, the EC has selected Dr. Dan Frost to be the new EC Chair, beginning January 2016. Dan is a professor at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) and has been the European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) representative to the EC for the past four years. He will bring fresh new eyes and energy to the Elements EC. I am exceedingly grateful for having worked with so many extraordinarily devoted society representatives over the years. I appreciate everyone’s tolerance at being asked repeatedly for information, the attention to the many e-mails, the time spent on conference calls (some at odd hours), and for their insights, ideas, humor, and service to Elements.