Scientists from the physics, astronomy and materials science department (PAMS) have made a groundbreaking discovery on how water is incorporated in magmatic processes.
PAMS Department Head and professor Dr. Robert Mayanovic, graduate student Devon Romine and other contributors have recently published their findings.
“Water is critical for the formation of granites, which are an important component in the formation of continents of the Earth,” Mayanovic said. “Detailing the exact mechanism of dissolution of water in silicate magmas that form granites has been elusive because such systems need to be probed while in the molten state, under high temperatures and pressures.”
The group used a combination of synchrotron X-ray experiments and computer simulation modeling to investigate the structure of a silicate melt containing water.
“Because water is an important volatile that can play a critical role in volcanic eruptions and movement of silicate magma and metals from depths to the surface of the Earth, this study may ultimately lead to a better understanding of these processes.”