Student: Tanner Hartsock, Graduate Student in Geoscience, University of Iowa
Faculty Advisor: Ingrid Ukstins
Magmatic evolution, P-T conditions and volatile degassing of a steady-state volcano: Yasur, Vanuatu
My research involves assessing environmental risk from volcanoes using petrologic techniques. Yasur is a volcano on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu, in the South Pacific. Yasur has been continuously erupting for the last 800 years and is the latest manifestation of volcanic activity in this area. Eruptions consist of explosions of volcanic debris with emissions of harmful volatiles. The most abundant volatile component at Yasur is sulfur, and plume monitoring has confirmed the volcano as one of the largest point sources of sulfur on the planet. Fluorine from the plume also poses a chronic environmental health risk on Tanna, so understanding long-term exposure rates as well as periodic increases in volcanic intensity will help to better quantify its risk, as well as risks associated with other similar volcanoes from around the world. My research gauges compositional variation of magma using fresh volcanic bombs, which can then be compared to the current understanding of volcanic variability, as well as to measurements from active monitoring of the volcanic gas plume at Yasur.