My research is focused on magmas associated with the plate tectonic cycle, at both divergent and convergent plate margins. My main contributions have been to the understanding of: * Magma generation: quantifying the roles of decompression, temperature and water in driving mantle melting * Crustal recycling at subduction zones: providing global flux estimates of marine sediment subducted into oceanic trenches, and tracing sediment geochemically from the seafloor to arc volcanoes * Water content of magmas, and the effects on magma evolution and source composition.
My tools are geochemical, field work has taken me to Nicaragua and the Aleutians, and to sea. I has served on the MARGINS steering committee, the editorial boards of Geology and Earth & Planetary Science Letters, the USArray Advisory Committee, the Bowen Award selection committee, NSF review panels, and as co-chief scientist on Leg 185 of the Ocean Drilling Program. Plank received the Houtermans Medal from the European Association for Geochemistry, the Donath Medal from the Geological Society of America, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
Some of my projects include:
- Mantle dynamics and magmatism across the Basin and Range
- Volatiles In Aleutian Magmas
- Magmatic water along the Central America arc
- Volatiles in Tonga Arc Magmas