Uni Birmingham Earth Sciences
University of Birmingham
Itâs #MagmaMonday so today weâre starting the first of a few profiles on PhDâs here at Brum who work on all things igneous! First up is David âDaveyâ Cavell.
Davey works on volcanic rocks from Eastern Panama and Colombia, as part of a regional study building up a cohesive story of the evolution of this region since the Late Cretaceous.
Davey is focusing on the chemistry of volcanic rocks in the region; in particular the formation of a rare type of volcanic rocks known as âadakitesâ. Though controversial, adakites have a chemical composition similar to the Earthâs early continents, and have been studied in modern day settings to help explain the type of environments which could have produced early continental crust. Understanding of adakite formation in Colombia and Panama could therefore provide a new understanding of the crust and environment on Earth 3 â 4 Billion years ago.
Alongside an interest in the very old, Daveyâs work also covers very young rocks: In Colombia the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, whose eruption 33 years ago this November killed over 26,000 people, forms part of his regional study. Davey is currently working with Colombian geologists to study the sources and evolution of Ruiz and other volcanoes in the region. Chemical analysis of the trace elements and radiogenic isotopes of these volcanoes will help in identifying their source in the Earthâs crust, how they formed, and will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of these dangerous volcanoes.
A very lucky person when it comes to fieldwork, Davey has spent time working on volcanic rocks in Cyprus, Greece, Sicily, Tenerife, Chile and the South Pacific on top of his current work. He is most recognisible in the field with a fedora and bright orange gear.
1) Working on a murky day, close to Nevado del Ruiz volcano, Colombia.
2) Helping to sample near the summit of Villarrica volcano, Chile.
3) With an outcrop of interbedded scoria (black) and pumice (white) on Tenerife.
4) With San Pedro-San Pablo volcanoes, northern Chile.