Staff and Postgraduate Students
Dr Colin Macpherson, BSc, Edinburgh (1990); PhD, Royal Holloway London (1994)
2009-present Reader, University of Durham
2006-2009 Senior Lecturer, University of Durham.
2000-2006 Lecturer, University of Durham.
1999-2000 Postdoctoral Researcher, Royal Holloway University of London.
1996-1998 Postdoctoral Researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA
1994-1996 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Career Research Highlights
Colin has applied new and established geochemical techniques in innovative ways to understand the origins of magmatism and its relationship to tectonics. He has developed particular expertise in SE Asia and the western Pacific where he has studied subduction initiation, lithosphere erosion, mantle melting, crustal growth and recycling of subducted crust and sediment. Colin has also conducted pioneering work in the analysis and use of light elements to investigate magmatic processes, in recognition of which he received the Geological Society’s Wollaston Fund in 2007. He was responsible for setting up a stable isotope laboratory at Durham with more than £300,000 of SRIF2 funding and has obtained more than £500,000 of other grant income since 2001.
Committee and Society Service
1) 2008-2012: NERC Isotope Geoscience Facilities Steering Committee member
2) 2005-present: Co-Leader, Commission on Subduction Zone Magmatism (IAVCEI).
3) 2004-2007 Committee Member, Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group.
Conferences and workshops
1) 2008 Goldschmidt Meeting, Vancouver: Relationship between geodynamics and magma outputs at subduction zones.
2) 2008 IAVCEI Congress, Reykjavik: From crystals to crust: crustal growth and lithospheric evolution.
3) 2008 EGU, Vienna: Advances in stable isotope geochemistry applied to magmatic and metamorphic systems.
4) 2008 VMSG, Dublin: Mantle dynamics, sources and components
5) 2005 Fall AGU, San Francisco: Noble gases in melts and the mantle.
6) 2004 Goldschmidt Meeting, Copenhagen: Light elements in igneous and metamorphic processes.
1) 2007 Geological Society Bicentennial Meeting, London. Organising Committee.
2) 2006 Fermor Meeting, London. Organising Comittee.
Invited Keynotes2009 Goldschmidt Meeting, Davos, Primary, annual meeting in geochemistry. High-Nb basalts or just plain old basalts? Non-slab derived fluxes in arc mantle
2008 America Geophysical Union Fall Meeting: Lithosphere Erosion and Crustal Growth in Subduction Zones: Insights from Initiation of the Nascent East Philippine Arc
2007 Goldschmit Conference, Cologne. Differentiation of basaltic melt in the shallow mantle wedge: implications for mass fluxes into the arc crust.
Membership of Organisations and Societies
American Geophysical Union
Geological Society of London (Fellow)
Prizes & Awards
1) 2007 Wollaston Fund, Geological Society of London
2) 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Durham
Recent and Current Grants2008 Royal Society Conference Grant for Fall AGU.
2008 NERC Facility Grant PI Oxygen fluxes into, within and through deep subduction zone lithosphere.
2007 NERC Facility Grant PI Constraining water fluxes into the solid Earth using hydrogren isotope ratios of lavas.
2006 Royal Society Conference Grant for State of the Arc 2007.
2005 NERC Standard Grant PI Tongan test of high field strength- and platinum group-element mobility during subduction.
2003 NERC ODP Grant PI Constraining Platinum Group Element recycling in subduction zones.
2003 NERC Standard Grant co-PI Innovative approaches to determining processes and pathways of magmatic differentiation.
2001 NERC Small Grant PI Testing a new model for the initiation of subduction in the western Pacific.
2001 NERC New Investigators Grant PI Estimating carbon fluxes out of and into the solid Earth using mid-ocean ridge and subduction zone lavas.
Responsibilities in Department
Management Committee Member
- Subduction-related magmatism
- Light elements in magmatic systems
- Magmatism and tectonics in SE Asia and the western Pacific
- Crustal growth and development in subduction zones
- Sources and degassing of magmatic volatiles
- Development of high precision stable isotope techniques
- 1: Shaw, AM, Hauri, EH, Behn, MD, Hilton, DR, Macpherson, CG & Sinton, JM (2012). Long-term preservation of slab signatures in the mantle inferred from hydrogen isotopes. Nature Geoscience 5(3): 224–228.
- 2: Handley, H.K. Turner, S.P. Macpherson, C.G. Gertisser, R. & Davidson, J.P. (2011). Hf-Nd isotope and trace element constraints on subduction inputs at island arcs: limitations of Hf anomalies as sediment input indicators. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 304(1-2): 212-223.
- 3: Coldwell, B, Adam, J, Rushmer, T & Macpherson, CG (2011). Evolution of the East Philippine Arc: Experimental constraints on magmatic phase relations and adakitic melt formation. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 162(4): 835.
- 4: Macpherson, C.G., Hilton, D.R. & Hammerschmidt, K. (2010). No slab-derived CO2 in Mariana Trough back-arc basalts: Implications for carbon subduction and for temporary storage of CO2 beneath slow spreading ridges. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 11: Q11007.
- 5: Handley, H.K., Macpherson, C.G. & Davidson, J.P. (2010). Geochemical and Sr-O isotopic constraints on magmatic differentiation at Gede volcanic complex, west Java, Indonesia. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 159(6): 885-908.
- 6: Macpherson, C.G., Chiang, K.K., Hall R., Nowell, G.M., Castillo, P.R. & Thirlwall, M.F. (2010). Plio-Pleistocene intra-plate magmatism from the southern Sulu Arc, Semporna peninsula, Sabah, Borneo: Implications for high-Nb basalt in subduction zones. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 190(1-2): 25-38.
- 7: Day, J.M.D., Pearson, DG, Macpherson, CG, Lowry, D & Carracedo, JC (2010). Evidence for distinct proportions of subducted oceanic crust and lithosphere in HIMU-type mantle beneath El Hierro and La Palma, Canary Islands. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74(22): 6565-6589.
- 8: Day, J. M. D., Pearson, D. G., Macpherson, C. G., Lowry, D. & Carracedo, J. C. (2009). Pyroxenite-rich mantle formed by recycled oceanic lithosphere: Oxygen-osmium isotope evidence from Canary Island lavas. Geology 37(6): 555-558.
- 9: Macpherson, C.G. (2008). Lithosphere erosion and crustal growth in subduction zones: Insights from initiation of the nascent East Philippine Arc. Geology 36(4): 311-314.
- 10: Davidson, J, Turner, S, Handley, H, Macpherson, C & Dosseto, A (2007). Amphibole "sponge" in arc crust?. Geology 35(9): 787-790.
- 11: Macpherson, C.G, Dreher, S.T & Thirlwall, M.F (2006). Adakites without slab melting: high pressure differentiation of island arc magma, Mindanao, the Philippines. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 243(3-4): 581-593.
- Day, JMD, Macpherson, CG, Lowry, D & Pearson DG (2012). A discussion of “oxygen isotope heterogeneity of the mantle beneath the Canary Islands” by A.A. Gurenko et al. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 164(1): 177-183.
- Ekici, T, Macpherson, CG & Otlu, N (2012). Polybaric melting of a single mantle source during the Neogene Siverek phase of the Karacadağ Volcanic Complex, SE Turkey. Lithos 146-147: 152.
Available for media contact about:
- Earth Sciences: Volcanoes
- Earth Sciences: Geology and tectonics of SE Asia and the western Pacific