The processing of crustal and mantle materials in subduction zones plays a key role in creating and maintaining the habitable Earth. In order to understand the impact of magmatic subduction zones fluxes on the broader geochemical cycles, I pursue integrative geochemical and geological studies in the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc (NW Pacific), and the continental Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.
The lifetime of arcs (~20-100 myr) scales to the evolution of the Earth’s mantle and crustal reservoirs as well as to the plate tectonic cycle, to the opening and closing of ocean gateways, and to the evolution of the global climate. Understanding if and how the arc outflux is linked to these cycles requires a temporally precise and highly resolved record of arc evolution. Such a record is preserved in the minute igneous particles of marine tephra fallout and can be obtained by using state-of-the-art analytical techniques.
My research in Mexico focuses on understanding arc growth rates as key variable of mass balance calculations. We begun a study that shall lead to a closer integration of geochemistry with geology and volumes of extrusive series emplaced through time. This will allow us to relate subduction parameters (e.g. crustal thickness, convergence rate) to the chemical compositions of convergent margin volcanics and to test various hypotheses for the formation of convergent margin magmas. This data base project is complemented by selected field studies that aim to understand differentiation and origin of the alkaline and calc-alkaline magmas of the Mexican Volcanic Belt.
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