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Mt Erebus, Antarctica; Understanding the world's southernmost active volcano

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Mt Erebus, the world southernmost active volcano represent a unique natural laboratory to study the dynamic of magma in the near surface. In the crater of this ~4 km high volcano is a persistently active lake of molten 960°C lava periodically perturbed by Strombolian eruptions. A peculiar feature of this lava is the presence of very large crystals up to 7 cm long. These crystals display two interesting properties: perfect growth zoning and large inclusions of fossilised melt pocket. By comparing the natural crystals to synthetic ones grown in the laboratory we can decode the information locked in each crystal and track back its history of circulation up and down the magmatic conduit.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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