Challenge Team Interim Report

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    Team Number: 048

    School Name: Los Alamos High School

    Area of Science: Geology

    Project Title: Magmatic Motion

Final Report

Our project is modeling the movement of magma through the lithosphere by buoyancy-driven fracture transport. The project topic was determined after consultations with the advisor at the Glorieta Kick Off Conference and several other adult advisors. Before the conference it had been tentatively decided to do a geological model. After discussing the project with several professionals, it was decided to do a model of the movement of magma through the lithosphere. Preliminary research proceeded via visits to the local libraries and talking to geologists. This was difficult because many of the professionals that were contacted either had very slow response time and/or referred our project to another professional.

Our model will be the vertical ascent of magma through the lithosphere, or crust. The current model will be based on the assumption that buoyancy driven crack propagation is the primary mode of transport. The relevant variables, density of the magma and in situ rock layers, viscosity of the magma, tensile strength of the country rock, and elastic wave velocity of the surrounding rock, will be calculated based on a few starting parameters. Complexity will be added as time permits.

The code is being written in C++. Unfortunately, two members did not know C++ at the beginning of the Challenge, but have made great progress in learning the language. Java has been chosen as our graphical interface.

Great strides have been made in understanding how magma moves through the lithosphere. Also the two members that did not know C++ have started learning it, and will be able to help write the code. The basic code has been started, and will be worked on by all.

Team Members

Sponsoring Teachers

Project Advisor