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  3. Dynamic Earth
  4. Geochemistry of Mantle, Magmas and Crust

Geochemistry of Mantle, Magmas and Crust

Magmas generated in the mantle and erupted on the surface of the Earth each have distinct geochemical fingerprints that can be used to place constraints on the composition of the mantle source region; modes of mantle melting; processes taking place in the crust during cooling of melts in magma chambers and the geochemical controls on eruption style.

Exploiting a range of analytical techniques available at the Open University, the Geochemistry of Mantle, Magmas and Crust group use the compositions of magmas (and hosted minerals) from a range of tectonic settings, which are either intruded into the crust and/or erupted on the surface of the Earth, to understand each of these key stages during magma genesis.

  • Our team has a particular interest in constraining the rate of cycling of elements out of the mantle at mid-ocean ridges, oceanic islands and oceanic plateaus, and then back into the mantle at subduction zones.
  • Our studies of various types of magmas allow us to unravel the processes that have contributed to the geochemical differentiation of the Earth and its evolution with time (e.g., evolution of the continental crust).
  • In addition, we use the behaviour of elements during magmatic processes to place constraints on more complicated processes, such as the evolution of economically important magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits.

Current members of this theme are:

If you would like to know more about our Geochemistry research, please contact the Theme Lead, Frances Jenner.

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