Press Releases

Fossils survive volcanic eruption to tell us about volcano origins

The most recent eruption on the Canary Islands – at El Hierro in 2011 – produced spectacularly enigmatic white “floating rocks” that originated from the layers of oceanic sedimentary rock underneath the island. Despite being violently transported through the volcano, some of these rocks contain microscopic fossils of delicate single-celled marine organisms, making the survival of these fossils all the more extraordinary. This new study uses these fossil time-travellers to date the sedimentary layers beneath El Hierro and, in turn, shed new light on the long-standing puzzle about the origin of the Canary Islands.

Link to press release

Publication details: Zaczek, K., Troll, V. R., Cachao, M., Ferreira, J., Deegan, F.M., Carracedo, J.C., Soler, V., Meade, F.C., Burchardt, S. 2015. Nannofossils in 2011 El Hierro eruptive products reinstate plume model for Canary Islands. Scientific Reports 5:7945. DOI 10.1038/srep07945.
Link to paper on Scientific Reports website (Nature Group publication)

A Tale of Two Magmas

Summary: The Carlingford Igneous Centre, NE Ireland, erupted 60 million years ago but a new study published in Nature Communications reveals it has much to teach us about currently active volcanoes.
Link to press release

Publication details: Meade, F.C., Troll, V.R., Ellam, R.M., Freda, C., Font, L., Donaldson, C.H., Klonowska, I. (2014) Bimodal magmatism produced by progressively inhibited crustal assimilation, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms5199.
Link to paper on Nature Communications website