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Experimental Petrology

Experimental petrology plays a crucial role in helping to define the thermodynamics and kinetics of rocks, magmas and melts under controlled conditions of pressure, dissolved volatile contents, temperature and time. We work with multiphase, multi-component chemical systems to examine processes such as elemental partitioning and crystal growth. After an experimental run, we use petrography and in situ microanalysis to analyse the textures and geochemical composition of the run products.

Equipment includes:

  • Lampert PUK 5.1 touchscreen arc welder.
  • 2 x rapid quench cold-seal pressure vessels, with high performance INCONEL 713LC autoclaves
  • Remote monitoring and control of furnaces via Eurotherm nanodac controllers, with programmable temperature profiles
  • High-precision WIKA digital pressure transducers, with sub-bar reproducibility
precious metal capsule

Microscope view of welded precious metal capsule ~3.5 mm across, containing starting rock powder and added water, ready for a high-pressure run © Alex Iveson

Vertically mounted furnaces

Vertically mounted furnaces heating our cold-seal pressure vessels © Martin Mangler

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Facilities and Equipment

Research equipment facilities located in the department

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