Science Workshop Friday March 8 – How to study processes in the lower crust

To find the right rocks, sometimes you need to go to out-of-the-way places

Xenoliths (foreign rocks) are pieces of rock that were brought from the lower crust or upper mantle by ascending magma. Xenoliths occurrences are one of the few places that we can obtain samples from this zone, and therefore provide some of the only insights into the places where a lot of the geologic phenomenon that we see at the surface actually happens. Tim Schroeder has been studying xenolith-rich lava deposits in Arizona, and will share some insights into what can be learned about the history of western North America from a few tiny little bits of rock.

Xenoliths in a lava outcrop in Chino Valley, AZ

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