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Dorsey Wanless Research

Investigating the Galapagos Seamounts in the Deep Rover2 submersible (2015)

My research interests lie in understanding how magmas evolve from generation in the mantle, to storage within the crust, and finally, eruption at the Earth’s surface. I use a wide range of geochemical tracers including: major and trace element compositions, radiogenic, helium, and oxygen isotopes ratios, and volatile concentrations, in combination with petrologic modeling to understand how fractional crystallization, assimilation of crustal rocks, melt-rock reaction, and partial melting can affect the composition of lavas erupted at the surface.

My research has primarily focused on the evolution of magmas in submarine settings including mid-ocean ridges and ocean islands. I am also working on understanding the role of magmatism in continental rifting.


-Ph.D., Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL, USA. Dissertation: Geology and Petrogenesis of Lavas From An Overlapping Spreading Center: 9°N East Pacific Rise (August 2010)

-M.S., Department of Geology and Geophysics, SOEST, University of Hawai`i, Manoa, HI, USA. Thesis: Geologic Mapping and Petrology of the Submarine Radial Vents on Mauna Loa Volcano Hawai`i (December 2004)

-B.A., Department of Geology, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, USA.Undergraduate Thesis Topic: Geochemical Evidence for Long Term Plume Ridge Interaction and the Formation of Cocos Ridge (May 2001)

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