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Patrick W. Ball

Patrick W. Ball

Research Student

Bullard Labs.
Madingley Rise, Madingley Road

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 337191


2011 - 2015 :  Masters in Earth Sciences, University of Oxford

2015 - Present : PhD, "Basaltic Magmatism as the Key to Unlocking Phanerozoic Dynamic Topography", University of Cambridge

Research Interests

In recent years it has become apparent that mantle convection exerts an important influence at the Earth's surface. Hot upwelling mantle material generates uplift, while downwelling cold material causes subsidence.  This phenomenon is known as dynamic topography.  However, the transient nature of mantle convection makes it difficult to make predictions of how this support varies through time.  In areas where warm upwelling mantle impinges on the base of the lithosphere it is common to observe both dynamic uplift and intraplate magmatism.  My research aim is to quantify the relationship between the warm upwelling mantle beneath a plate and the the composition of volcanic eruptions at the surface of the plate.  If successful, this will be a powerful new tool to look at dynamic topography through time as the products of volcanic eruptions will remain long after the convective support as disappeared.

The geochemical composition of a basaltic lava is a product of the depth and temperature of melting. My project is primarily focussed on extracting estimates of mantle temperatures from present-day areas of basaltic magmatism.  We can compare these estimates to a number of different geophysical datasets in order to reveal how uplift and magmatism are linked on a regional scale.   The areas I have chosen to focus on during my PhD include: North Africa, Turkey and Eastern Australia.


Volcanology ; Geochemistry ; Geophysics

Key Publications

McNab, F., Ball, P. W., Hoggard, M. J. and White, N. J. (2018), Neogene Uplift and Magmatism of Anatolia: Insights From Drainage Analysis and Basaltic Geochemistry. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst.. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/2017GC007251

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