Experimental Petrology

Volcanoes erupt a variety of rapidly cooled magmatic materials, including glass, crystals, and fluid and gas inclusions.  These materials record information about pressure, temperature, velocity, and ascent paths that the magma went prior to and during eruption.  Such information can be “reversely engineered” from the eruptive products by performing petrological experiments that recreate some of the key elements of the magma (e.g., crystal compositions, textures, and abundances).  The Volcanology Group is currently setting up a new laboratory in the Institute of Geosciences so that we can simulate a broad range of magma storage and ascent scenarios beneath volcanoes.