McGill geology researchers‘ discovery of high concentrations of CO2 at mid-ocean ridges confirms explosive nature of certain volcanic eruptions

By using an ion microprobe, Christoph Helo, a PhD student in McGill’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, has now discovered very high concentrations of CO2 in droplets of magma trapped within crystals recovered from volcanic ash deposits on Axial Volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, off the coast of Oregon.

Given that mid-ocean ridges constitute the largest volcanic system on Earth, this discovery has important implications for the global carbon cycle which have yet to be explored.