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Mineral structures, phases and earthquakes

The winner of the Philips Award for 1998 was A. Pawley from the Dept. of Earth Sciences at the Univ. of Manchester. Her research has probed phase relations and mineral stability, in particular, the stability of hydrous minerals. She placed constraints on the conditions of dehydration of minerals in hydrated basalt and peridotite in subducting slabs which, when incorporated into thermal models of subduction zones, are crucial for understanding processes such as melting and the triggering of deep earthquakes. She outlined the importance of water in the Earth's mantle and how break-down reactions of hydrated minerals in subduction zones play a pivotal role in the volcanism and seismology of regions where tectonic plates collide. Her X-ray diffraction studies of lawsonite and talc (held simultaneously at high-pressure and high-temperature) brought insight into one of the most exciting and important fields of modern Earth Science.

D. Allan, U. of Edinburgh
in the BCA News