DCO Project Summary

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Project Title
The Carbon Inventory of Oceanic Basalts and the Oceanic Upper Mantle
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The solubility of carbon in magmas is very low; most magmas have low carbon concentrations by the time they erupt to the surface. This has made it difficult to constrain the carbon content of the mantle where these magmas are sourced. We are studying the concentrations of carbon and other volatiles in a suite of well characterized mid-ocean ridge basaltic glass samples in order to assess (1) the carbon content of seafloor glass on a global scale and (2) the carbon content of mid-ocean ridge source mantle.
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Reporting Year 2012 Click to expand

  • RY2012-1 - submitted on Jan 01, 2012

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    [2012-01-01] Assembled the research team, selected and obtained samples for study.
  • RY2012-2 - submitted on Feb 01, 2012

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    [2012-02-01] Analyses under way.

Reporting Year 2014 Click to expand

  • RY2014-1 - submitted on Mar 01, 2014

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    [2014-03-01] Paper submitted to J. Geophys. Res. on a subset of samples from the densely sampled equatorial mid-Atlantic Ridge (Marion Le Voyer, first author).
  • RY2014-2 - submitted on Apr 01, 2014

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    [2014-04-01] Over 400 glass samples analyzed, a few more (probably <50) are being sought to obtain coverage in geographic gaps. Data analysis under way in preparation for manuscript writing to begin May 2014.
  • RY2014-3 - submitted on Aug 31, 2014

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    DCO Fellow Marion Le Voyer (DTM/Smithsonian) and GSO graduate student Marion Lytle involved in this project began their work in early 2012. Le Voyer has obtained data on CO2, H2O, and other volatiles in a global collection of over 400 mid-ocean ridge volcanic glasses that have been already well-characterized for trace elements by another group (Jenner & O'Neill, 2012), and a suite of previously unreported volatile-rich popping rocks from the equatorial Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  Lytle has obtained similar data on a suite of 60 back-arc basin ridge glasses from the Lau Basin that complement the dataset on ~100 glasses analyzed from other back-arc ridges by PI Kelley. Together these sample suites comprise the first-ever global dataset for CO2 emerging from ocean ridge volcanism. Because the thickness of the crust, and the spreading rate, is already known along the global ocean ridge system, these measurements, combined with trace element data, translate directly into a flux for the most voluminous magmatic system on Earth. Several publications have already appeared in the literature, one more is in revision, and another is in preparation. Ultimately, this data will be used to visualize the variability of the magmatic CO2 flux along the entire 44,000 km length of the global ocean ridge system.
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