Collaborative Research: Experimental Investigation of the Electrical Properties of Hydrous Silicate Melts in Subduction Context

Project: Research project

Project Details


Geophysical measurements in a variety of subduction zones indicate anomalous electrical and seismological behavior at depths where partial melting is expected. In particular, significant improvements of the electromagnetic technique over the past decade provide an increasingly precise image of subduction systems, highlighting the need for more detailed laboratory studies and modeling. Because it is sensitive to temperature, composition, and liquid phase geometry,
electrical conductivity provides information about the chemistry and structure of rocks and fluids and helps identify melt migration pathways and storage conditions. Combined with electrical investigations in the laboratory, geophysical measurements across subduction zones are able to distinguish an integrated anomaly signature that can provide constraint on the nature and structure of anomalies.

Intellectual Merit :
The current electrical database of fluids does not cover the range of compositions observed and expected in subduction zones, requiring further laboratory investigations to remove any potential ambiguity in fluid characterization and proportion. In particular, the electrical conductivity of highly hydrous silicate melts (>10 wt % H2O) at mantle wedge conditions is still unknown. Electrical conductivity can also be used to probe unmixing processes between silicate melts and metal-bearing aqueous fluids that occur in the shallow part of subduction (
Effective start/end date8/1/167/31/19


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $20,394.00


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