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Department of Mineral Sciences

Izalco Volcano

The Department of Mineral Science’s Cold-Seal Hydrothermal and MCH Laboratory generates pressure and temperature conditions of the middle to upper crust. The hydrothermal portion of the laboratory includes four horizontal furnaces and three vertical furnaces that can reach temperatures of up to 950°C and pressures of up to 300 MPa. Individual pressure vessels can be isolated from the main pressure line permitting rapid exploration of Pressure-Temperature space (e.g. simultaneous examination of multiple P-T conditions). The experimental system is pressurized with water and is ideal for studying andesites, dacites, rhyolites, and other silicic magmas. Pressure vessels in the horizontal furnaces can be quenched in <30 s whereas the vessels in the vertical furnaces can be quenched in ~1 s. Pressure and temperature within the system can be set and controlled either manually or through a computer program.

Complementary equipment in this facility includes:

  • Puk3 Professional Welder with neutral Ar gas flow and precision-welding with microscope assistance
  • Capability to evacuate and seal silica glass tubing
  • Noble metal wire and tubing and ceramics for encapsulation
  • Wet chemistry laboratory with HF dissolution for the preparation of metals pre-saturated with iron
  • Sample preparatory and machining laboratory

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