Teaching with the EarthChem Geochemical Database
Integrating Research and Education > EarthChem > Volcanic Fields > Part 3 - Wrap-up questions

Part 3 - Wrap-up questions

Based on your analysis of the various volcanic fields which were selected for study, suggest answers for the following discussion questions below. Some of these questions naturally lead to other (sometimes more difficult) questions concerning the origins of lavas erupted from volcanic fields and the geologic processes responsible for producing them. Igneous petrologists have spent alot of time trying to figure out the best explanations for various associations of igneous rocks, but that isn't your main task for this exercise.
  1. Which magma composition–mafic (basalt), intermediate (andesite), or silicic (rhyolite)–is the most common among all of your volcanic fields? Does this type always occur in every field?
  2. Which magma composition–mafic (basalt), intermediate (andesite), or silicic (rhyolite)–is the least common among all of the volcanic fields?
  3. Do the rhyolitic magmas in your volcanic fields generally occur in isolation from other magma types, or are they accompanied (or preceded) in time and/or in space by more mafic magmas?
  4. According to your limited dataset, does "one size fit all" when it comes to volcanic fields and their possible origins?
  5. List three additional questions you now have about volcanic fields now that you have worked through this activity. BONUS: What types of data might be required to answer those questions?

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