Krawczynski to examine role of water in volcanoes, Earth’s evolution

Michael J. Krawczynski, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his project “The Evolution of Super-Hydrous Magmas in the Earth’s Crust.”


Krawczynski will apply experimental petrology, thermodynamics and volcanology to explore how volcanoes work – especially how water affects the evolution of volcanoes and their behavior.

A major part of Krawczynski’s work will be in developing new methods for estimating the amount of water in Earth’s lower crust, a critical factor in volcano volatility. This study also will be the first to experimentally determine geochemical pathways for the evolution of super-hydrous magmas in the deep crust.

“The most exciting aspect of this work is understanding the role of water in building the continental crust, which is a unique aspect of Earth, and is a major unexplained thing about the evolution of our planet,” Krawczynski said.

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