Visiting Ph.D.-student from University of Trieste, Italy
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Research in mineralogy.
My research interests are focused on water content calculation in quartz as a provenance tool.
In contrast to other abundant minerals, quartz does not form solid solutions and it is considered a pure mineral, solely consisting of silica (SiO2). However, traces of chemical impurities may be incorporated as defects in its crystal lattice. One of the most common is the Si4+ substitution with H+ and a trivalent ion (like Al3+ or B3+) or by 4H+ and LiOH. These substitutions can be revealed by IR (infrared) absorption where specific bands can be distinguished. As the formation of the different defects is dependent on pressure, temperature and chemical system, IR spectra could serve as a tool to clarify the formation conditions, and hence provenance, of the quartz.
Within this project I would like to apply this method to sedimentary rocks from the SE Alps and Outer Dinarides to verify changes of supplies during a period (Cretaceous-Eocene) when these basins were related to the closure of the Tethys.
However, the study of OH defects of quartz in magmatic rocks is still at the beginning, as well as the study of detrital quartz in sedimentary rocks. So I would like to integrate the data from the sedimentary rocks with those from magmatic rocks from the surrounding areas, including the well-known area of the super-volcano of Val Sesia. Furthermore, chemical analyses on the trace element content of quartz will be performed by LA-ICP-MS to check the connection between the abundance of trace elements (i.e. Al and B) and relative OH defect substitutions.