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Earth Sciences at the University of Fribourg

Bern-Fribourg Master in Earth Sciences


Details of Master Thesis Topic (Module D):
The reaction between tonalite and serpentinite in the Bergell contact aureole

Master Thesis title: The reaction between tonalite and serpentinite in the Bergell contact aureole
Description:The interaction of felsic melts produced during partial melting of subducted slabs with ultramafic rocks from the mantle wedge is thought to be an important process that led to the formation of early crust on Earth. However, there are only very few places where such an interaction can be directly studied. In the Val Sissone, (Val Malenco, N-Italy) the Bergell tonalite intrudes the country rock serpentinites leading to a several meter large reaction zone that provides an excellent natural laboratory to study such an interaction process.

The aim of the project is to map and sample in detail this reaction zone. A detailed mineralogical and geochemical investigation of bulk rocks and minerals will be used to characterize and quantify mass transfer between crustal melts and mantle rocks.

The project will combine fieldwork (high-Alpine outcrops exposed due to glacial retreat) and detailed petrographic microscopy combined with a series of advanced analytical techniques such as SEM, Electron Microprobe, Laser Ablation ICP-MS, FTIR spectroscopy, and might also involve in-situ oxygen isotope investigations at the SwissSIMS in Lausanne.
Advisors:Prof. Jörg Hermann, Prof. Thomas Pettke, Prof. Daniela Rubatto
Specialities:EM, GEOL
University: BE

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