Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Dorsey Wanless


In 2018, a research cruise investigated the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 14°N. During this expedition the seafloor was mapped using the AUV Sentry and basaltic lavas were collected using the HOV Alvin. To better understand the origin of these lavas, major element compositions of 40 basaltic glasses from three Alvin dives were measured using the BSU SXFive Electron Microprobe and trace element contents were measured on 33 samples using solution ICP-MS. Trace element ratios and patterns are important tools for investigating magmatic processes because they can be used to evaluate different magmatic processes; such as the amount of melting of the Earth's mantle that produces the magma and the extents of crystallization prior to eruption. Lavas collected on dives AL4953 and AL4954 have similar Rare Earth Element patterns, but variable elemental abundances, suggesting fractional crystallization was an important process in their formation. By contrast, lavas collected on dive AL4955 have variable trace element patterns and ratios, indicating a change in the extents of mantle melting. To further investigate the differences in these compositions, we will use numerical models to quantify the percent of mantle melting and extents of crystallization that led to the formation of lavas erupted in this region.