Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology


Elemental etymology – what’s in a name?

Photo of a medieval medical manuscript translated from Arabic in the 2nd half of the 13th Century.

Like many scientists in the GMPV sphere, I work a lot with geochemistry – using chemical elements and their differing behaviours, abundances or isotopes as tools to understand Earth processes. While staring at the periodic table, something that’s always niggled at me is where the names of these come from: why is the stuff we breath called oxygen and the sand on the beach made of silicon? Even more ...[Read More]

Machine Learning and Volcanic Crystals: a journey with Corin Jorgenson into Random Forest Thermobarometry


Thermobarometry: a bit of background Being able to understand the eruptive style of a volcano, how the eruptive behavior can evolve over time and managing to better interpret the signals that a volcanic system gives us before an eruption are of fundamental importance for mitigating the risk associated with eruptive activities. In this context, it is extremely important to understand trans-crustal ...[Read More]

Is garnet going to be your best date?

Is garnet going to be your best date?

For geochronologists it is all about precision and accuracy. For petrochronologists it is more about precise positioning of those ages to trace back the evolution of a rock. For many, it is not just about getting a crystallisation or metamorphic age, it is about knowing when and at what conditions a given rock experienced certain petrogenetic processes. As we progressed from geochronology to petro ...[Read More]

5 things I learnt from 2 months at sea with the International Ocean Discovery Program

Photo of sunset behind the drilling vessel JOIDES resolution

This year I was lucky enough to be part of International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 390 – South Atlantic Transect I – aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution which spent two months, from April to June, out in the South Atlantic, drilling into and sampling the upper oceanic crust and sediments. I sailed as a petrologist and was responsible for describing how the basa ...[Read More]