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The potential of olivine and spinel as indicators of magma source regions

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Foley
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Minor and trace elements in olivine phenocrysts have been used recently as tracers to identify the mineral assemblages present in source regions of the magmas. However, results have been controversial because of competing interpretations of element signals. This project will refine the quality of indicators in olivine for particular source minerals by comparing the signals with whole-rock geochemistry. Additional minerals, most notably spinel, will be assessed for their potential to perform similar tasks of identifying source mineral assemblages and melt evolution. Olivines and spinels from variety of Mesozoic/Tertiary volcanoes in eastern Australia will be used as field tests to apply the results.

Our Department has a newly expanded high-pressure experimental laboratory and a strong tradition in microbeam mineral and rock analysis (EMPA, SEM, Laser-ICP-MS). We emphasize cross-links between geochemistry, petrology and geophysics in mantle and lithosphere studies. We seek outstanding students to actively contribute to a team effort in the Australian Laureate project “Deep Earth Cycles of Carbon, Water and Nitrogen” (
Direct entry into the PhD programme at Macquarie requires completion of a two-year Masters degree with a major research component at Distinction level (75%). For applicants with an Honours or shorter Masters degree, there are also MRES/PhD package scholarships which enable completion of MRES as a training pathway to a Doctoral degree.
International scholarships include living stipend and fees for 3 years. Applications are now open: application deadline is July 31st.
There is also an option for co-tutelle projects with partner universities.
You are encouraged to discuss a research proposal before completing your on-line application. Informal enquiries should be addressed to Prof. Stephen Foley ([Email Address Removed]). We also encourage students to suggest their own research themes. Enquiries about openings further into the future are also welcome.

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