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CANCELLED - How Earth's largest magmatic systems mobilize deep volatiles and impact climate

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Wednesday, 11 March 2020, 11:30


Wednesday, March 11, 2020. 11:30AM. How Earth's largest magmatic systems mobilize deep volatiles and impact climate. Benjamin Black, City College of New York. Sponsored by Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. More information here


The process of melting rock to make magma is a powerful mechanism for transferring volatiles such as carbon, water, and sulfur between deep Earth and surface reservoirs. Release of these volatiles during large-scale magmatic activity has shaped Earth’s climate evolution, including during rapid, catastrophic events such as mass extinctions. However, the origins and evolution of volatiles through the life cycles of Earth’s largest magmatic systems are poorly known. For example, few constraints exist on carbon from voluminous Large Igneous Province (LIP) magmas, despite evidence LIP carbon has played a critical role in past episodes of climate warming and carbon cycle disruption. In this talk I will use the Deccan Traps and Siberian Traps LIPs to show how a cross-disciplinary approach combining petrology, geochemistry, and paleoclimate can reconstruct evolving fluxes of carbon and other volatiles to the atmosphere. I find that accounting for magmas that freeze in the crust rather than erupting is critical to understanding carbon fluxes. Furthermore, some LIP magmas released much more carbon than previously thought, and consequently LIPs can dominate the solid Earth carbon release budget during the most intense outgassing. Massive magmatic events like LIPs and impact-generated melt bodies are integral punctuation marks in >4 billion years of Earth’s history through which geodynamics, magma generation, and surface environments have been tightly and continuously linked. 

Location  Wright Labs Auditorium, Busch Campus, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854