Experimental Geochemistry Lab (PI: Mike Krawczynski)
Our lab simulates planetary interior pressure and temperature conditions, and uses new ultra-precise analysis methods to measure element fractionation, phase equilibria, and isotopic partitioning and diffusion. The general goal of our research is to constrain the chemical fingerprints and time scales of melting and crystallization processes in the terrestrial planets and asteroids, and to determine rates and magnitudes of a variety of aspects of silicate and metal behavior that have previously proved difficult to determine. Combining a laboratory-based approach with thermodynamic, geochemical modeling, and petrographic studies, our lab is advancing the understanding of igneous processes in the solar system.
Fundamental questions that drive our research are: What is the role of volatiles in the crystallization and origin of subduction zone magmas? How does the crust on a variety of planets form and evolve? How long lived are magma chambers, and what is the relationship between intrusive and extrusive magmas?