Ca isotopes as a potential tracer for CO2 in magmatic systems

Theme: Natural & Biological Hazards

Primary Supervisor:

Christina Manning

Department of Earth Sciences, RHUL

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Secondary Supervisor:

Philip Pogge Von Strandmann

Earth Sciences, UCL

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Project Description:

The volatile content of magma has a significant control on the eruptive style of a volcano. Hence, constraining the source and flux of volatiles in magmatic systems can aid risk assessment, critical knowledge especially for overpopulated volcanic slopes. This project will investigate CO2 flux in volcanic systems emplaced in carbonate crust.

The CO2 concentration in both magma and hydrothermal fluids is expected to fractionate calcium isotopes, a new but potentially powerful tracer of these processes. This will provide insights into CO2 flux pathways, important for predicting the impact of volcanic eruptions. Initial work will focus on the heavily-populated, Roman volcanic province, where accurate predictions of eruptive style are extremely important.

Ca isotope data along with data from more traditional isotope systems, will be used to examine the processes occurring at these volcanic systems, and hence determine eruptive styles, and the potentially resulting risks and hazards.

Policy Impact of Research:

A better understanding of magmatic CO2 fluxes will lead to better knowledge of volcano eruptive styles, and hence significantly contribute to volcanic hazard prediction.

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