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Christina Manning

Volcanoes and volcanic eruptions have been drivers of many key processes throughout Earth history from early continent formation to climate change and mass extinction.  However, volcanic systems are by nature enigmatic, with the majority of information about their pre eruptive processes hidden beneath the surface.  The material erupted from volcanoes is preserved in the geological record as igneous rocks and tephra, providing a repository from which it is possible to better understand the building blocks of volcanic systems from melt generation to eruption dynamics.  This information allows us to gain insights into ancient eruptions and their potential global impacts which is important for understanding modern day volcanoes and their hazards.

I am an igneous geochemist who uses the textural and chemical data hosted within volcanic rocks and minerals to unravel a range of geological questions such as how does mantle heterogeneity form and how is it preserved over geological timescales?, how do magmas evolve in the crust and what impact do these processes have on eruptive style?, and how can we best utilise information from old deposits to better understand the risks posed at modern volcanic systems?

A sequence of volcanic proximal fallout from an explosive volcanic eruption in Armenia about ~500kyrs ago.  Analysis of this sequence can provide information on changes in the eruptive dynamics during the course of the activity and also give details on compositional variability of the magma in the system


A zoned plagioclase crystal hosted in a lava from Salina, Aeolian Islands.  Analysis of individual zones within a crystal allow a detailed petrogenetic history to be constructed that gives a better understanding of the processes occurring under volcanic systems.




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