Robert P. Wintsch

Robert P. Wintsch

Professor Emeritus, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


  • Ph.D., Brown University, 1975
  • B.A., Beloit College, 1969

Research interests

Research of Wintsch and students working with him spans several aspects of metamorphic geology, from diagenesis and low grade metamorphism in slaty rocks to high grade metamorphism and partial melting. Much of this research focuses on identifying the relationships between deformational and metamorphic processes, from the grain scale and pressure solution to the scale of terranes and terrane assembly.

Mylonites and fault rocks

We are exploring the relationships among chemical and mechanical processes in metamorphism, and especially in fault zones, where mechanical processes are relatively important. Chemical processes turn out to have a relatively large role in the evolution of fault rocks, from pressure solution-like dissolution/precipitation reactions in a near closed system, to reaction softening and reaction hardening in relatively open systems. We have identified ductile processes in very shallow fault zones where brittle deformation is expected, and evidence for brittle (seismic?) deformation in rocks as high grade as the sillimanite zone, where ductile deformation is expected. We have been working on fault rocks from the Moine thrust, Scotland, Insubric line southern Swiss Alps, and the northern and central Appalachians.