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Department of Earth Sciences



I research crystallisation and crystal interaction processes, trying to unravel what the plutonic record can tell us about how magma is stored and transported in the crust. My research methods combine detailed fieldwork and petrography with SEM analysis (which may include EBSD, CL, BSE and EDS), electron microprobe analysis and phase equilibria modelling. 

My current research focuses on:

- Exploring how crystals attach to each other to form clusters in high-viscosity melts. I have a particular interest in the formation of polyphase clusters and have been using EBSD to investigate the prevalence and significance of oriented attachment ("synneusis") of crystals of different minerals.

- Constraining the crystallinity of the magmatic environment during the growth of K-feldspar megacrysts, using a combination of textural analysis and phase equilibria modelling.

- Characterising textural indicators of undercooling in silicic igneous rocks, with the aim of understanding why extreme departures from equilibrium occur in very localised parts of magma plumbing systems, and what significance this has for the storage and transport of magma. This work involves the textural and geochemical analysis of aplites, comb layering and orbicular textures, as well as their host rocks.


I am always delighted to discuss my research - please get in touch by email if you are interested and would like further information.




Teaching and Supervisions


I demonstrate and supervise for:

- IA Earth Sciences (first year undergraduate course)

- ESB: igneous and metamorphic petrology, volcanology, mineralogy and crystallography

- ESA: structural geology and geological map interpretation

I also demonstrate on undergraduate field trips including Arran, Cornwall and Skye.

PhD Research Student
 Charlotte  Gordon

Contact Details

Email address: 
Department of Earth Sciences
Downing Street


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