Dr. Barbara Ratschbacher awarded Revitalization Research Program Grants
Assistant Professor Barbara Ratschbacher researches continental crust formation in subduction zones, which are collision areas between two tectonic plates. Ratschbacher plans to use the research funds to further work on subsurface magma reservoir processes and how those processes relate to volcanic eruptions and hazards.
“High-silica volcanic rocks have a heavier and more variable iron [Fe] isotope composition than high-silica plutonic rocks (magmas that stall and solidify in the crust instead of erupting),” said Ratschbacher. “The process responsible for this observation is controversial, but one hypothesis states that crystal-liquid separation is the driver of the Fe-isotope fractionation. Crystal-liquid separation is a key process in producing the observed range of volcanic and plutonic rock compositions, and if this hypothesis is correct, Fe isotopes will provide insights into how this process operates.”