Magmatic Architecture of Hotspot Volcanism and Large Igneous Provinces
- Author(s): Mittal, Tushar
- Advisor(s): Richards, Mark A
- et al.
Volcanoes are an important part of the Earth system - supplying volatiles (e.g., H$_2$O, CO$_2$, SO$_2$) to the atmosphere, as well as nutrients to the oceans (e.g., Fe, other trace elements), and producing subaerial and submarine topography. In particular, flood basalt events are some of the largest magmatic events in Earth history, with intrusion and eruption of millions of km$^3$ of basaltic magma over a short time period ($\sim$ 1-5 Ma). They are hypothesized to be the result of the emergence of a mantle plume head - which frequently forms the start of a hotspot track. Flood basalt eruptions are associated with significant perturbations to the Earth’s climate and biosphere, including mass extinctions. This link is generally hypothesized to be due to the emission of climatically active volatiles, such as CO$_2$ and SO$_2$. In this thesis, I utilize fluid dynamics and mechanical theory from Earth-science, astrophysical, and engineering sub-disciplines to develop intermediate-complexity models for hotspot volcanism and flood basalt eruptions.
I analyze how the mantle partial melt gets mobilized and transported in the asthenosphere before feeding the crustal magmatic system. For this, I used natural modern day occurrences of where a mantle plume interacts with a nearby mid-ocean ridge e.g., Gal