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"""Water"" in the Earth`s lithosphere and its bearing on geophysical properties" (NAMs)
Start date: 01 May 2009, End date: 30 Apr 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This application relates to the “water” (i.e., H+, OH-, H2O) distribution in the Earth's lithosphere and its bearing on the Earth’s geophysical properties. The aim of this proposal is to explore the distribution of “water” in the lithosphere and understand its effect on the geophysical properties (seismic and electric conductivity) of lithospheric rocks. This development has the potential to provide a better insight into the rheology and dynamics of the Earth’s lithosphere, and may facilitate assessment of the risk of earthquakes. This is because “water” is known to weaken minerals even at very low concentration levels (ppm). There are basaltic volcanoes in the Carpathian-Pannonian region, which sampled the Earth’s lithosphere by picking up rocks from the lithosphere (i.e., xenoliths) during their eruption. More importantly, some of these xenolith bearing basaltic volcanoes sit close to geophysical cross-sections which provides an extraordinary chance to correlate geophysical measurements against xenoliths and their “water” concentration. A new, revolutionary infrared method currently discovered at the Research School of Earth Sciences in Australia will be utilized by the Eotvos Lorand Geophysical Institute in Hungary which will allow a much simpler analysis of a large number of xenoliths for “water”. The aims of the proposal are the following: 1) Study diffusion profiles of “water” in xenoliths to reveal their representativity for the source region 2) Understanding the distribution of “water” in the lithosphere; 3) To improve geophysical models by integrating the newly emerging information on “water” distribution in mantle rocks into already existing seismic databases.
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