High resolution element mapping with laser ablation mass spectrometry: constraining the triggers of volcanic eruptions

Date & time

1–2pm 1 February 2018


Jaeger 1 Seminar Room, RSES


Teresa Ubide (University of Queensland)

Event series


 Adele Morrison

Geochemical imaging with Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has rapidly developed in the last few years as an in-situ, high resolution technique able to visualize the distribution of trace elements in geological materials. LA-ICP-MS trace element maps have the potential to reveal complexities in natural processes that are not apparent under the microscope or using microbeam spot analyses. This seminar will introduce the LA-ICP-MS mapping technique, including practical approaches and outcomes, and present applications in geoscience research. For example, investigation of early crystals from Mt Etna volcano (Sicily) show that magmatic processes leading to eruption are recorded in the trace element zoning of clinopyroxene. Results link the increase of volcanic activity in the past decades to recharge of the plumbing system with new primitive magma. Thermobarometric and timescale constraints indicate ascent of magma from ca. 10 km to the surface in 2 weeks. Other research applications include, but are not limited to, mapping of coral specimens that provide insights into growth mechanisms and the use of corals as paleoenvironmental recorders.

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