Volatile release and the environmental consequences of magmatism

Volcanic eruptions have been invoked to explain major events in Earth history ranging from the demise of the Neanderthals 40,000 years ago to the end-Permian mass extinction 252 million years ago. Volatile outgassing is a key determinant of the environmental consequences of magmatism. Current projects employ petrologic and geochemical tools to quantify magmatic volatile budgets and state-of-the-art global climate models to assess the repercussions of outgassing for Earth's climate and ecosystems.

Magmatic processes and eruption dynamics on Earth and other planets

In the crust and at the Moho, magmas form molten bodies known as magma chambers. In order to erupt, magmas must be buoyant and overpressures in a magma chamber must be sufficient to promote failure and dike propagation towards the surface. Current projects include the development of a new 1-D code to explore the implications of volatile saturation, exsolution, bubble growth and rise, and permeable escape for magma chamber dynamics on Earth and Mars.

Planetary geology

Earth is not the only body in our solar system to host active and evolving landscapes. Titan and Mars both display evidence of river networks carved by fluvial erosion. New Horizons revealed a stunning array of mountains, polygonal terrain, and vast crevasses on Pluto, in the cold and darkness of the Kuiper Belt. These rich planetary landscapes record the interplay of resurfacing, deformation, and erosion through time. Current projects combine mapping, analysis of spacecraft data, and numerical modeling to glean insights into the geologic history of Titan and Mars and to investigate the processes that shape large-scale planetary topography.