Understanding Volcanoes: A Look at the Ecuadorian Context

Title

Understanding Volcanoes: A Look at the Ecuadorian Context

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Research Question

What are the sources of magma in the Ecuadorian Andes? How do the magmas evolve as they ascend through the continental crust?

Award

Center for Global Studies International Internship/Fieldwork Grant

Significance

The composition of a volcanic rock records the magma source, and the processes that modify the magma prior to eruption. In a continental arcs, where an oceanic plates sink beneath continental plates, magmas originate deep beneath the earth’s surface, in the mantle. However, these magmas must often interact with the crust they ascend through, which significantly modifies their compositions. Consequently, one challenge of studying continental arcs is unraveling sources and processes. My research addresses this challenge in Ecuador. Although there is a high density of volcanoes in Ecuador and eruptions are frequent, the underlying magmatic systems are poorly understood. I will use geochemical and isotopic techniques to put constraints on the mantle sources, and the processes that modify magmas in Ecuador.

Methods Used

Sample collection at various volcanoes in Ecuador. Geochemical and isotopic analysis, as well as radiometric dating.

Conclusions/Outcomes

This research will provide an understanding of volcanic hazards in Ecuador, where eruptions and volcanic landslides frequently threaten communities and critical infrastructure.

Publication Date

2016

Department

Geology

Understanding Volcanoes: A Look at the Ecuadorian Context

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