Krafla Magma Drilling Project (KMDP)

A New Drill Core at Surtsey Volcano

The high-temperature field Krafla in NE Iceland.

Magma, or more generally the hypersolidus regime defined by silicate melt being present, is responsible for the chemical differentiation of Planet Earth, including formation its crust and transport of volatiles to the hydrosphere and atmosphere. Melt extraction from crystal-rich systems and/or crystal extraction from melt-rich systems drives the mobile portion of systems towards granite. Such chemically evolved rocks are the defining feature of continental crust, whose buoyancy makes continents unsubductable and therefore permanent. Stacked magma advection, hydrothermal convection systems – best developed in calderas - carry the threat to society of natural disaster through explosive eruptions, but also bring geothermal and mineral resources to accessible depths.

KMDP is envisioned as an extended exploration of this unprecedented natural rhyolite intrusion laboratory through drilling observations and complementary surface and laboratory measurements and numerical modeling.

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