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American Museum of Natural History Earth & Planetary Science Experimental Petrology Lab

Many geologic processes, such as the development of magmatic bodies, the formation of mineral deposits, or the metamorphism of rocks, cannot be observed directly because they occur in inaccessible regions of the earth. Experimental petrologists study these processes by replicating high temperature and pressure conditions in the laboratory.

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Jim Webster makes adjustments to the furnace temperature settings on the IHPV.

In our lab, we can simulate volcanic conditions with several furnaces that operate at atmospheric pressure. Also, with our three cold-seal hydrothermal pressure vessels and a single internally heated pressure vessel (IHPV) we generate the conditions under which many magmatic and metamorphic reactions occur in the crust. Cold-seal vessels attain a maximum temperature of 800 degrees C at a pressure roughly equivalent to that 7 kilometers below the Earth’s surface. The IHPV is capable of operating at temperatures up to 1200 degrees C (2200 F) and pressures as great as that found at 22 km (15 miles) depth within the earth (i.e. 6.5 kilobars or roughly 95,000 psi).

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American Museum of Natural History Earth & Planetary Science Experimental Petrology Lab
Central Park West New York, NY, 10024 United States

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