Department of Geology & Geophysics

Experimental Petrology

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The UAF Experimental Petrology Lab provides a state of the art research facility for studying magmatic processes at high temperatures and pressures. The Lab houses the following equipment:

  • Rockland Research piston-cylinder apparatus capable of up to ~1 GPa pressure, and ~2000 C temperatures. It is typically used for phase equilibria experiments recreating magma crystallization and equilibriation processes in the deep crust to shallow upper mantle.
  • 1 Atmosphere Gas Mixing furnace: This apparatus is used for crystallization and melting experiments under controlled oxygen fugacity conditions at atmospheric pressures. The apparatus is built using a DelTech vertical tube furnace and run using  CO2-H gas mixtures to control fugacity.
  • 4 hydrothermal cold-seal pressure vessel apparati: Waspaloy alloy pressure vessels are used for phase equilibria studies at pressures to 4 kbar and temperatures to 880 C
  • 4 rapid-quench capable cold-seal pressure vessel apparati: The cold-seal apparati are fitted with a special extension that allows rapid quenching against the water-cooled pressure seal, using a magnet controlled sample holder. These apparati allow for crystallization and vesiculation kinetics studies with rapid quenching.
  • 2 TZM/MHC alloy cold-seal apparati: DelTech furnaces are paired with Titanium-Molybdenum-Zirconium or Molybdenum-Hafnium-Carbide pressure vessels for higher temperature phase equilibria and kinetics studies. The MHC vessels are capable of temperatures up to ~1200 C at pressures to 2 kbar.

Current research projects include:

Constraining magma storage conditions and ascent rates before and during the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska (PhD student Sarah Henton)

Vesiculation and crystallization kinetics studies of basaltic andesite magmas and implications for violent strombolian eruption mechanisms (PhD student Amanda Lindoo)

For more information, please visit Jessica Larsen's Website



Faculty Researchers

Jessica Larsen
Pavel Izbekov


Student Researchers