Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences
Benjamin Parks is a doctoral candidate in the department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences. He graduated with a BA in geology from Carleton College in Minnesota. His current research focuses on assessing the chemical composition of volcanic rocks erupted in the Andes, particularly those from central and southern Argentina and Chile. Using the compositional 'fingerprints' of the lava samples from this region, he investigates the formation and modification the South American continent, as well as how the convergence of the South American tectonic plate toward its neighboring plates to the west relate to the volcanism that populates much of the Andes. This work fits into the broader context of using the chemical makeup of lavas and magmas to better understand the history of continents and their relationship with the dynamics of Earth's deep interior.