NERC facility grant awarded to Ralf Halama

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Posted on 13 June 2017

Cameca ims 1270 ion microprobe Dr Ralf Halama, lecturer in Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, is travelling to the NERC Ion Microprobe facility in Edinburgh. He has been awarded a £ 15,626 grant to study boron isotopes in metamorphic rocks from subduction zones. The Cameca ims 1270 ion microprobe in Edinburgh is the only instrument of that type in the UK, and it allows isotopic ratio measurements in rocks and minerals on the micrometre scale. Ralf will investigate rock samples from the Western Alps that have been brought back to the Earth’s surface from >70 km depth and allow unique insights into processes operating in the deep Earth. The research aims to test the hypothesis that deeply subducted rocks reflect the loss of water from the down-going plate in their boron contents and isotopic signatures. The results are expected to have a significant impact on our understanding of the global cycling of water through exchange of material between the Earth’s surface and its interior.

For further information, Dr Halama has co-authored an invited review article about boron geochemistry that highlights its use as an excellent tracer of water cycling and fluid-rock interaction in metamorphic rocks: Review article - Boron as tracer of fluid-rock interaction