Under the umbrella of Earth Materials, a variety of research topics are covered. This includes projects involving those faculty members interested in mineralogy, petrology and geochemical studies of Earth materials. The processes that form them, and then modify rocks and minerals, are critical to understanding the evolution of the Earth and other planets. This includes the role of fluids in contact metasomatism, isotopic study of the origin of hypersaline fluids in shield and sedimentary rocks and the role of fluids in subduction zone processes and arc magma genesis.
The Department has a wide range of expertise in dealing with terrestrial, extraterrestrial and synthetic materials. LSU faculty and students have access to the analytical tools necessary to solve a wide variety of mineralogical, petrologic and geochemical problems. For instance, density differences cause magma to rise so that both the magma and its country rock encounter new P—T regimes.
Earth Materials & Processes
The rate and mechanism of rise depends on many physical properties, including the density and viscosity of the magma and of the country rock. The rates at which the magma crystallizes and the country rocks react control how closely equilibrium is approached, and determine the rate at which heat is consumed or released by the process.
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Thus in order to develop large scale models for Earth processes, we must know the densities, viscosities, diffusion coefficients, crystal growth rates, and elastic properties of crystals and melts. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
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