Enrique Merino

Enrique Merino

Professor Emeritus, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


  • Ph.D., Geology and Geophysics, University of California at Berkeley, 1973
  • Ingeniero de Minas, School of Mining Engineering, Madrid, 1967


I was raised in Almería, Spain, took a degree in mining engineering in Madrid in 1965, was a fellow of the Fulbright (1967-68) and Del Amo (1969-1971) Foundations at Berkeley, obtained a doctorate in geochemistry and petrology at the University of California at Berkeley in 1973, and have taught geochemistry, mineralogy and petrography at Indiana University-Bloomington from 1976 until 2007. After my dissertation research into the diagenesis of sandstones and interstitial solutions at Kettleman North Dome, California, 1973-1979, my 1984 NATO review opened the new field of geochemical self-patterning and led me to investigate, with colleagues, the genesis of many self-organized structures: stylolitization, agate banding and twisted chalcedony fibers, Precambrian banded iron formations, planar and orbicular repetitive layering in igneous rocks, oscillatory zoning, sets of karst sinks, sets of dolomitic zebra veins, and others. The title of my last course at Indiana, “From Petrography to Geochemistry,” summarizes my main interest – to link petrography and geochemical dynamics. The discovery that mineral replacement in metasomatic rocks happens not by dissolution-precipitation as widely assumed, but by its converse, precipitation/pressure-solution, has led to breakthroughs in understanding the dynamics of silicate weathering, terra rossa and karst formation, the retrograde metamorphism of magnesian marbles, burial dolomitization, and serpentinization of peridotites. The replacements involved in the last two, dolomitization and serpentinization, turn out to be self-accelerating and to transition – through a kinetic-rheological feedback – into late displacive zebra veins.