The Northeast Atlantic break up: Why so much magma?



The Mid-Norwegian Margin is the most intensively studied volcanic rifted margin in the world, yet the dynamics that produced excess magmatism in the region are not well constrained. One of the primary goals of recent IODP Expedition 396 is to test three end-member processes that could explain excess magmatism during continental breakup: presence of a mantle plume (#1), edge-driven convection (# 2), or a fertile and enriched source (#3). I propose to complement bulk data (major and trace elements), currently being acquired on basalts by the Expedition 396 scientific party, with in situ analyses on phenocrysts and perform geochemical modeling to bring constrains to the respective contributions of the three processes.



Growing up in the Appalachian foothills of East Tennessee, I was innately curious about the ancient geology surrounding me. Unfortunately, I lost much of my curiosity as I went through the public school system in an extremely rural part of Tennessee, which at the time did not have the necessary resources to maintain an Earth science curriculum. It wasn’t until the summer after my second year at Middle Tennessee State University that I found my way back to geology, primarily through my love of outdoor recreation. I started doing fieldwork and conducting research after my first semester as a geology major, focusing on petrologic processes at small Quaternary volcanic centers in the Cascade Range of northern Oregon. Upon graduation, I became the first in my immediate family to have earned a college degree. After completing my bachelor’s, I pursued a master’s degree at the University of Missouri, where my research focused on determining how high volatile contents affect lava rheology and crystallization dynamics. I am now a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where I am advised by Dr. Sarah Lambart, who was an onboard participant during IODP Expedition 396. My work at UofU broadly focuses on upper mantle petrologic processes, a specialty that I will use to interrogate the hypotheses proposed by lead scientists of Expedition 396 to explain excess magmatism in the Mid-Norwegian Margin.