24 January, 2003
Sarah Fowler has written this entry.
Nearly 30 years ago, my father parcticipated in a geological/ geophysical study of the Antarctic Dry Valleys region. His reminiscences of the interesting landscape have inspired me to follow.
I have come here with a notion gleaned from my academic advisor, Bruce Marsh, that igneous rocks exposed in the Dry Valleys might offer a glimpse of how magmatic systems-the guts of volcanoes-develop. Because of the harsh environment, there are few living organisms in the Dry Valleys. The rocky surfaces are constantly polished by wind, and delicate features that are often obscured elsewhere in the world by vegetation or construction are visible.
My parcticular interest here is in the processes that take place as hot basaltic magma travels through the crust towards the surface. In the Dry Valleys, dark-coloured basaltic magma was injected into pre-existing light-coloured granitic rocks. Erosion has exposed the layers of basaltic and granitic rocks in the valley walls. There is evidence that the hot basaltic magma partially melted some granitic rocks and incorporated the resulting liquids. I am collecting samples of basaltic rocks that contain partially melted pieces of granite to examine the compositional and textural changes that took place in the basaltic magma.
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