Bonus May Speaker: "The Influence of Geologic Setting on the Composition of Silicic Magma," by Gabriela DeSanto

by Cindy Schmidtlein, MSDC Vice President for Programs

Gabriela DeSanto, Laboratory Instructor and Honors student at The George Washington University.

Our bonus speaker for May is Gabriela DeSanto, a student at George Washington University (GWU), who is the 2024 recipient of the MSDC Award for Undergraduate Research. (This award is the same as the historical Foshtag award we've been using, but with an updated name). Gabby is a graduating senior in the geological sciences program and is a laboratory instructor for GWU’s introductory historical geology course.

Gabby will talk to us about her research on the influence of geologic setting on the composition of silicic magma. She is comparing the trace element composition of components from the magma at Yellowstone National Park, a continental hotspot that produces rhyolitic magma, to that of South Sister of the Cascades, a volcanic arc system related to the nearby subduction zone. The fundamental question she is investigating is how and why the South Sister is producing silicic eruptions and whether there is a difference in the geochemistry of the rhyolitic magmas between Yellowstone and South Sister.

Gabby plans to do some unrelated field work this summer in the Dolomites of Italy with George Mason University to get solid, real-world experience learning about stratigraphy and structural geology in the field, and bedrock and quaternary mapping.