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Earth Sciences at the University of Fribourg

Bern-Fribourg Master in Earth Sciences

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Details of Master Thesis Topic (Module D):
The fate of ophicarbonates from seafloor to beyond antigorite dehydration and the subduction zone carbon cycle

Master Thesis title: The fate of ophicarbonates from seafloor to beyond antigorite dehydration and the subduction zone carbon cycle
Description:Fluid mediated recycling at convergent plate margins is essential for the transfer of elements in subduction zones, and subducted hydrous mantle rocks are central in this process. This project proposes to investigate the petrology and geochemistry of ophicarbonates from the ocean floor (Liguria, Italy) and/or selected occurrences of ophicarbonates subducted to >50 km in the Central Alps. Ophicarbonates form upon reaction of mantle rocks with seawater on the ocean floor, are composed of serpentinite and calcite crack fillings, and undergo a series of transformations with progressive subduction. This project aims at constraining the modifications of mineral assemblages and associated geochemistry. Results are expected to contribute significantly to a better understanding of the deep carbon cycle.

Sample materials will be collected during field work in Liguria and/or the central Alps. Detailed thin section petrography forms the basis for measurements of mineral composition and element mapping by electron probe and laser-ablation ICP-MS. Together with bulk rock chemical compositions it forms the basis for petrogenetic modelling of (a) trace element distribution between coexisting minerals with progressive subduction, and/or (b) mineral stability and metamorphic mineral reactions in the serpentinite-carbonate system employing PerpleX and possibly other existing tools (e.g., stable C and O isotopes on carbonates).
Advisors:Prof. Thomas Pettke, Prof. Jörg Hermann
Specialities:ERG, GEOL
University: BE

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