Before the pandemic, I participated in a field and sampling campaign to the Central Andes in Chile. Last year, our research team published a paper sharing some of our initial findings (link to paper:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-63454-1#article-info focusing on oxygen isotopes in mafic erupted products).
The Andes are breathtakingly beautiful!
Flamingos in front of a towering volcano in the Central Andes.
The Central Andes made it to the front slide of an outreach presentation I gave at Uppsala University.
The rocks we studied were basaltic-andesites and this is what they look like under the microscope: they contain lots of olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase feldspar minerals. This image is from our 2020 paper (Gonzalez-Maurel et al., 2020) in Scientific Reports.
My colleagues and I wrote a piece for the American Geophysical Union’ s (AGU’s) Eos magazine about Agung volcano on Bali, Indonesia. You can read it here:
Print copies of the April 2019 issue of Eos, featuring a beautiful display for our article!
In the Eos article, we talk about how studying minerals like pyroxene and feldspar can help us to learn more about volcano-magma systems.
Lavas from Agung on Bali contain numerous crystals, such as this pyroxene surrounded by plagioclase feldspar (viewed under a polarizing microscope; field of view is approximately 3 millimeters (mm)). These crystals are held in a groundmass (or matrix) made of tiny, barely perceptible crystals (microlites) and glass (former melt).