Archive for January 8th, 2016

Science Highlights from VMSG 2016

January 8th, 2016

Dublin, Ireland – The technical program of VMSG 2016 concluded today and I am saturated with new ideas about igneous systems. Abstracts for all of the talks and posters can be found on the VMSG 2016 website.  There were so many excellent presentations, but I thought I’d mention just a few of the highlights.

Ian Saginor at Keystone College shared his xxxx initiative to use 3-D models for volcanology education and outreach.

Ian Saginor  shared his Volcano Terrain Initiative to use 3-D models for volcanology education and outreach.


Maren Kahl used a clever systems approach to understand the magmatic plumbing system at Mt. Etna. She combined kinetic and thermodynamic modeling of complexly zoned olivine crystals erupted over time. (Link to her 2015 Journal of Petrology paper)

When Ben Hayes discussed his idea for the formation of plagioclase-pyroxene layering in the Bushveld Complex by downward percolation of a dense melt through a crystal mush, Mary Reinthal (’16) said she felt like she was reliving Petrology class. I guess that layered mafic intrusions lab had an impact!

Janine Kavanagh presented her experimental work on dikes in which she observed hybrid sill-dike intrusions when her injected fluids impinged on boundaries between layers in the host rock. (Link to her 2015 Earth and Planetary Science Letters paper)

John Maclennan gave a talk about the uncertainties (and deadly implications) of interpreting pressures from CO2 compositions of melt inclusions.

Chris Bean explained that, by recording long period (Lp) seismic events close to the source, we can see that they are better explained by brittle failure events in shallow edifice rocks rather than magma movement. (Link to his 2014 Nature paper)

Many presenters referred to the recent Nature paper by 2015 by Bergantz, Schleicher, and Burgisser on magma mush dynamics. Their study related magma injection rate to complex mineral textures and fabrics in magmatic systems. (Link to Bergantz et al., 2015 Nature paper)

Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Atrypid brachiopods attached to a trepostome bryozoan from the Upper Ordovician of southern Indiana

January 8th, 2016

Zygospira Attached 585This is a follow-up post to our entry on Christmas Day two weeks ago. Above is a trepostome bryozoan (the long porous piece) with specimens of the atrypid brachiopod Zygospira modesta clustered around it. They are positioned with their ventral valves outward because in life they were attached to this bryozoan with tiny fleshy stalks called pedicles. They were buried quickly enough that this spatial relationship was preserved. Cool. This assemblage was found in the Liberty Formation (Upper Ordovician) exposed in a roadcut in southern Indiana.
Zygospira modesta dorsal annotatedThis is a view of the dorsal side of Zygospira modesta showing the pedicle opening in the ventral valve at the apex of the shell.


Copper, P. 1977. Zygospira and some related Ordovician and Silurian atrypoid brachiopods. Palaeontology 20: 295-335.

Sandy, M.R. 1996. Oldest record of peduncular attachment of brachiopods to crinoid stems, Upper Ordovician, Ohio, USA (Brachiopoda; Atrypida: Echinodermata; Crinoidea). Journal of Paleontology 70: 532-534.