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.

Read more on the Arts & Sciences website.

Washington University researchers brave harsh conditions on the Kamchatka Peninsula in northeastern Russia because understanding what makes the Shiveluch volcano tick could help them understand the global water cycle and gain insights into the plumbing systems of other volcanoes. (Photo: Michael Krawczynski)

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