Research

 

My Research projects span from addressing questions of how fast mantle-derived magmas transit the crust, how magma diversity is created and destroyed in shallow plumbing systems, to how magma degassing affects eruption style as well as the formation of ore deposits. Additionally, I am engaged in large-scale geodynamic studies, such as the enigmatic exhumation of UHP rocks in Papua New Guinea.

Current and Past Research Projects

Concepts for lower to middle crustal magma ascent are mainly derived from crustal sections that show the time-integrated processes of magma storage, evolution, and transport through the crust, thus limiting our ability to track individual batches of ascending magma. However, understanding magma transport of single batches in the lower and middle crust and their linkage to the shallow plumbing system will not only help interpreting the exposed time-integrated crustal record, but also extend our ability to forecast volcanic behavior that is ultimately fed from mantle-derived magmas.


In a multidisciplinary approach that combines elemental diffusion modeling of zoned primitive phenocrysts, thermal modeling of dike propagation, and collaboration with ...

Photos: Left, close up of a intra-crater tephra deposit from the 1963-65 eruption of Irazú volcano. Irazú volcano in Costa Rica had two historic eruptions, 1723 CE and 1963-65 CE. We use the well preserved tephra deposits and phenocrysts therein to study Moho to surface ascent time scale. Bottom, olivine phenocryst from the 1963-65 eruption storing the presence of distinct mantle melts in its zonation pattern and recording rapid Moho to surface transport.

Petrology and Geochemistry Approach

The process of mixing is ubiquitous across all tectonic settings where magmas form and best recognized in arc magmatism. In arc systems we are often faced with a multitude of mixing events obscuring end-member compositions and the effects of individual recharge events. Thus, to make progress in our understanding of the assembly and differentiation of the continental crust we ...

Photos: Left, close up of a intra-crater tephra deposit from the 1963-65 eruption of Irazú volcano. Bottom, During magma mixing the crystals floating in the magma get dispersed and gathered. The chaotic pathway of the crystal may lead to gathering of crystal in the volume of a thin section from areas that cover the entire convective system.

In this study we investigated the length scale of individual crystal dispersal and the potential diverging histories individual crystals may record.

Fluid Dynamics Approach

Magma overturn and mixing redistributes the crystal cargo. We investigate using a numerical multiphase model how much a single gas-driven overturn affect the crystals ...

Magma recharge and mixing is not only thought to be important in generating the magma diversity we see on Earth, but also responsible for such different processes such as triggering of volcanic eruptions and enrichment of precious metals. The two historic Quizapu eruptions (Chile) from 1846-47 and 1932 of similar size (4-5 km3) are an excellent natural laboratory to understand the processes drive explosive-effusive transitions and the transfer of chalcophile elements during mixing. While the plinian 1932 eruption (void of significant mafic magma input) represents the “control magma system” that is almost unaffected by magma recharge, the 1846-47 lava eruption is significantly mingled and mixed with mafic magmas. The silicic end-member in both eruptions were identical (67 wt% SiO2) and were part of the same storage system at depth, thus, allowing such direct comparison and derivation of a causal connection between recharge and volatile transfer that itself is tied to eruptive style and precious metal mobility.

Photo: Quizapu Crater in the evening light. The area is covered by the 1932 dacitic plinian eruption. The topography still shows the lava flows from an earlier activity at Quizapu. In 1846-47 4-5 km3 of similar magma to 1932 erupted as effusive lavas. How can very similar magmas erupt so different? Find the answer here.

The Eastern peninsula of Papua New Guinea sits in a complex geotectonic setting. An area where arc magmatism coincides with continental rifting and ocean spreading. Volcanic centers north of the peninsula are aligned with elevated seismic activity, yet a clearly defined plate boundary is not observed. Furthermore, the youngest exhumed ultra-high-pressure (UHP) rocks on Earth are associated with this area ...

Photo: Wagifa Island on the southeastern side of Goodenough island: This island is entirely volcanic in origin and part of a lineament of historic volcanic rocks that are despite their calc-alkaline character not directly associated with a subduction zone.

Thephra deposits from the 1963-65 Irazú eruption                       shapeimage_7_link_0
Crater plug of El Misti volcano                      shapeimage_8_link_0
Deposits fom the 1846-47 and 1932 Quizapu eruptions                   shapeimage_9_link_0shapeimage_9_link_1
Quizapu crater at sunsetshapeimage_10_link_0
Wagifa Island in the Moresby Straitshapeimage_11_link_0

Magma recharge and mixing is not only thought to be important in generating the magma diversity we see on Earth, but also responsible for such different processes such as triggering of volcanic eruptions and enrichment of precious metals. The two historic Quizapu eruptions (Chile) from 1846-47 and 1932 of similar size (4-5 km3) are an excellent natural laboratory to understand the processes drive explosive-effusive transitions and the transfer of chalcophile elements during mixing. While the plinian 1932 eruption (void of significant mafic magma input) represents the “control magma system” that is almost unaffected by magma recharge, the 1846-47 lava eruption is significantly mingled and mixed with mafic magmas. The silicic end-member in both eruptions were identical (67 wt% SiO2) and were part of the same storage system at depth, thus, allowing such direct comparison and derivation of a causal connection between recharge and volatile transfer that itself is tied to eruptive style and precious metal mobility.

Photo: Quizapu Crater in the evening light. The area is covered by the 1932 dacitic plinian eruption. The topography still shows the lava flows from an earlier activity at Quizapu. In 1846-47 4-5 km3 of similar magma to 1932 erupted as effusive lavas. How can very similar magmas erupt so different? Find the answer here.

Quizapu crater at sunsetshapeimage_13_link_0