Petrology and Volcanology Research
Curator Liz Cottrell and a team of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and interns investigate the long-term geochemical evolution of the solid Earth, from the initial stages of planetary differentiation to ongoing two-way geochemical exchange between the Earth’s surface and deep interior. The high-pressure experimental laboratory in the Department of Mineral Sciences is capable of achieving pressures from 1 atmosphere to over 200 gigapascals (deep into Earth’s core). Experimental results are compared with chemical and spectroscopic analyses of natural volcanic samples in order to understand the fundamental processes that shape our planet (watch video).
The Global Volcanism Program provides detailed information about current and historical volcanic eruptions. Researchers around this world use the GVP database to study volcanoes and assess volcanic hazards.
Curator Sorena Sorensen studies fluid-rock interactions within the crust of convergent margins by means of field work and a variety of geochemical analytical methods, especially cathodoluminesence imaging and trace element determinations.
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