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LSUA Professor to Present Research at American Geophysical Union

Released: 12/11/2009

Dr. Genet Duke, assistant professor of geology at LSU Alexandria, will deliver a paper on an unusual swath of volcanism between Alberta, Canada, and Louisiana at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. Her presentation Thursday at the five-day meeting will come at the largest gathering of geologists and related scientists in the world.

Duke proposes that linear trends of kimberlites and carbonatites were formed by the western edge of the Kula plate stalled in the earth’s mantle between 410 and 670 kilometers in depth, roughly halfway to the planet’s core. Previous explanations for the magmatism were traced to hot spots produced by mantle plumes.

“Recently published data show no clear age progression for the magmatism and do not support a hot-spot hypothesis for the linear trend,” said Duke. “The isotopic compositions of the alkalic rocks show a genetic similarity among the more recent magmas along the trend. Kimberlites and carbonatites represent the most recent magmatism.”

Duke’s research was supplemented by a field expedition of LSUA students to Wyoming last year. The Louisiana Board of Regents has backed the research with a $120,000 grant over three years.