Starting point for geochemical analysis: COTM Thesis

September 19, 2016


Extensive crustal stretching at Craters of the Moon, SE Idaho allowed magma to intrude to the surface. Numerous cracks, known as the Great Rift initiated a series of eruptions emplacing several basaltic lava flows with a variety of surface morphology's.

The surface morphology's recorded from the field are smooth Pahoehoe and rough rubbly and blocky flows.

XRF analysis of the basalt samples from the lava flows will measure the whole-rock geochemistry (major and trace elements) and will be compared to circular polarization ratio values measured using radar.

One way to evaluate any physical and chemical changes in the lava flows during or prior to the eruptions is to analyze feldspar zone compositions (example of a zoned feldspar crystal, I am still looking into the best way to apply this to the project, updates are to follow later this week.


Below is a paper which gave me the idea for analyzing feldspars in the basalt samples.


Reference: Troll & Schmincke (2002) studied a compositionally zoned peralkaline ignimbrite by analyzing the zonation within feldspars using an Electron Micro-Probe (EMP), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Induced Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS).

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