Dr Carrie Soderman works in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Her research investigates how the geochemistry of volcanic rocks links to the processes that are involved in their formation, from their melt source regions in the Earth’s mantle through to transport and crystallisation on their way to the surface. Her PhD work focussed on the application of a relatively new field of high temperature isotope geochemistry, specifically isotopes of elements such as Fe and Mg. These isotopic compositions in volcanic rocks can be used to characterise the presence of recycled crust in the mantle that the volcanic rocks are derived from. Her work ties together modelling the behaviour of these isotopes in the mantle, isotope data collected from rocks from volcanic hotspots such as the Galápagos, and experiments to recreate mantle melting processes at the Earth’s surface.
As part of her fellowship research, Carrie is also applying the same combined modelling and natural data approach to understand the behaviour of rare earth elements in alkaline-silicate rocks. Rare earth elements, which will become vital over the next decades for use in clean energy technologies, are often found in high concentrations in these alkaline volcanic systems, but the processes that lead to their enrichment, from mantle source to crystallisation, are often poorly understood. The application of the modelling approach used during her PhD will allow for investigation of the effects of pressure, temperature, geological setting and magma composition on the behaviour of elements in alkaline-silicate volcanic rocks.
Speakers to be confirmed.
Cambridge University Engineering Department. Constance Tipper Lecture Theatre.