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Christy Till Colloquium Abstract (Apr 12, 2017)

Are Yellowstone Eruptions Triggered in the Course of a Human Life?

The May 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens ushered in the modern era of volcano monitoring, and as a result we are on occasion able to identify increases in the likelihood of an eruption in the months to days before they occur.  However, we still struggle to tie the observed monitoring signals to specific processes occurring in the magmatic system over the centuries to days prior to an eruption. In other words, what are the specific processes that trigger eruptions and how long do these processes take? This talk will explore the information stored in zoned minerals from lavas and tuffs deposited during past eruptions at Yellowstone Caldera to shed light on these questions and explore variations in the processes that may lead to different types of eruptions, as well as at different types of volcanoes.


Prof. Till’s research focuses on the origin of magmas on Earth and other planets.  She does this through the study of volcanoes, high pressure and temperature experiments to simulate magma formation in the lab, and computational modeling of magmatic processes. The lab’s webpage is at: http://epic.asu.edu