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Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Prof Jeroen van Hunen, MSc Geophysics, PhD

Director of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42293
Room number: Rm 325

(email at


2017 – present  — Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University
2013 – present  — Reader, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University
2011 – 2013 — Senior Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University
2006 – 2011 — Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University
2004 – 2006 — Oberassistent, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
2002 – 2004 — Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
2001 — PhD, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
1996 — MSc, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Research Interests

  • Subduction dynamics
  • Dynamics of the early Earth
  • Sub-lithospheric small-scale convection
  • Plumes and intraplate volcanism
  • Interaction between solid Earth and exosphere
  • Carbon Capture and Storage

Possible mode of Archaean subduction (after van Hunen and van den Berg, 2008):

Career Research Highlights

Jeroen van Hunen works on various aspects of the interaction between lithospheric plates and the mantle since the mid 90’s. He is recognized for his work on subduction dynamics, from shallow flat subduction to continental collision and slab break-off. One of his main research interests is the dynamics of plate tectonics in the early Earth, on which he recently got awarded an ERC starting grant: the MASE project. Jeroen published over 50 peer-reviewed articles with >1900 citations, and with an h-index of 24 (April 2016). At the moment he is main supervisor of 4 postdoctoral researchers, 3 postgraduate students, and several undergraduate dissertation students. His total research income on grants where he is the lead PI is ~£2.5M.

Committee and Society Service

2012 – present — Research Council Member of NERC Peer Review College.
2014 – present — Associate Editor of 'Tectonics'
2010 – 2016 — Associate Editor of 'Solid Earth'
2010 – 2013 — EGU programme committee for geodynamics division.
Research council reviewer: NERC, Leverhulme (UK), NSF (USA), SNF (Switzerland), ANR (France)
External PhD examiner at ETH (Switzerland), Madrid (Spain), Oslo (Norway), Cardiff & Imperial College London(UK)

Conferences and Workshops

2018 — organiser of the Royal Society Discussion Meeting on 'Earth dynamics and the development of plate tectonics'
2015 - 2018 — Main organiser of the NERC ATSC 'NNESMO: NERC Numerical Earth Science MOdelling' workshop
2016, 2017, 2018 — EGU General Assembly: co-convenor of 'Dynamics and Structure of the Mediterranean Collisions and Back-arcs'
2011, 2012, 2013 — EGU General Assembly: co-convenor of 'Subduction zone dynamics from the surface to the lower mantle'.
2010 — AGU Fall Meeting: co-convenor of 'The Formation and Deformation of the Mediterranean Basins, Continental Margins, and Arcs'. 
2010 — EGU General Assembly: co-convenor of Union Session 'Early Earth and early biosphere'
2010, 2011 — EGU General Assembly: Convenor of 'Early Earth: from deep dynamics to surface life'
2007 — EGU General Assembly: Convenor of 'Geodynamics and Geochemistry of the Early Earth'
2005, 2006 — EGU General Assembly: Convenor of 'Mantle Plumes, intraplate magmatism and hotspot-ridge interaction: Geodynamical, Geophysical and Geochemical Aspects'
Main organizer of 'Water on Earth and Beyond' workshop, 22 - 23 Sept. 2009, Durham, UK.
Co-organiser of the '10th International Workshop on Modelling of Mantle Convection and Lithospheric Dynamics.' September, 2007, Carry-le-Rouet, France.

Departmental Seminar Speaker Invitation (since 2008)

2016Leeds University
2016 University of Bonn, Germany
2013 — ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
2012 — Cambridge University
2011 — University of St Etienne, France
2011 — University of Clermond Ferrand, France
2011 — University of Liverpool
2010 — University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
2010 — BGI Bayreuth, Germany
2010 — University College London
2008 — Cambridge University

Invited Keynotes

2016  Origin and Evolution of Plate Tectonics International Workshop, Locarno, Switzerland
2015 — Gordon Research Conference on Earth Interior, USA
2014 — NAC, Veldhoven, Netherlands 
2013 —  Building Strong Continents conference, Portmouth, UK
2012 — British Geophysical Association, Leeds, UK
2011 — 12th European mantle convection workshop, Potsdam, Germany
2010 — Crust-to-core conference, Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic
2009 — Archaean Environment, ESF workshop, Mekrijärvi, Finland
2008 — 33rd International Geological Conference, Oslo, Norway
2007 — Archaean Oceans, ESF workshop, Rio Tinto, Spain

Membership of Organisations and Societies

1997 – present — American Geophysical Union
1997 – present — European Geoscience Union

Recent and Current Grants

2016 — 'NNESMO', NERC Advanced Training grant on numerical modelling, £32k
2015 — 'Subitop', as participant of an EU Horizon2020 ITN, PI: GFZ, Potsdam, Germany, €3.9M; Durham component: €273k.
2015 — 'NNESMO', NERC Advanced Training grant on numerical modelling, £30k
2014 — 'The Feedback Between Volatiles and Mantle Dynamics', NERC, £341k
2014 — 'NNESMO', NERC Advanced Training grant on numerical modelling, £34k
2012 — ‘What drives and resists plate sinking through the transition zone’, NERC, ~£366,000, with co-I Dr. Goes (Imperial College London).
2011 — ‘Modelling the Archean Subduction Environment (MASE)’, ERC Starting Grant, €1.5M
2010 — ‘TOPOMOD’, as participant of an EU FP7 International Training Network, PI: Univ. Roma Tre, Rome, Italy, €3.8M; Durham component: ~€473k.
2010: — ‘The dynamics of continental collision and slab break-off’, Charles Waites PhD studentship, 3yrs,
2010Orogenic Plateau Magmatism – NERC Standard Grant. NE/H021620/1 - Co-I. 
2009 — ‘Timescales, mechanisms and/or numerical tools for CO2 dissolution in brine’, ONE North East and GRL, UK, 3 yrs FTE PhD project of Francesca Watson.
2008 — ‘Multigrid Improvements’, NERC/EPSRC/NAG Ltd. UK, 12 months, Distributed Computational Science and Engineering (dCSE) support for software development. 

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Teaching Areas

  • Earth Structure and Dynamics

    (30 hours/year.)
  • 4th-yr Fieldtrip (120 hours/year.)
  • Modelling Earth Processes (45 hours/year.)
  • Principles of Earth Sciences (3 hours/year.)
  • Tectonics and Deformation Mechanisms (15 hours/year.)

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • van Hunen, Jeroen (2019). Onset and Evolution of Plate Tectonics: Geodynamical Constraints. In Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Elsevier.

Journal Article

  • Farangitakis, G.P., Sokoutis, D., McCaffrey, K.J.W., Willingshofer, E., Kalnins, L.M., Phethean, J.J.J., van Hunen, J. & van Steen, V. (2019). Analogue modeling of plate rotation effects in transform margins and rift-transform intersections. Tectonics 38(3): 823-841.
  • Heron, P.J., Pysklywec, R.N., Stephenson, R. & van Hunen, J. (2019). Deformation driven by deep and distant structures: Influence of a mantle lithosphere suture in the Ouachita orogeny, southeastern United States. Geology 47(2): 147-150.
  • Riel, Nicolas, Bouilhol, Pierre, van Hunen, Jeroen, Cornet, Julien, Magni, Valentina, Grigorova, Vili & Velic, Marco (2019). Interaction between mantle-derived magma and lower arc crust: quantitative reactive melt flow modeling using STyx. Geological Society Special Publication 478: 65-87.
  • Harmon, Nicholas, Rychert, Catherine, Collier, Jenny, Henstock, Tim, van Hunen, Jeroen & Wilkinson, Jamie J (2019). Mapping geologic features onto subducted slabs. Geophysical Journal International 219(2): 725.
  • Maunder, B., van Hunen, J., Bouilhol, P. & Magni, V. (2019). Modeling Slab Temperature: a Reevaluation of the Thermal Parameter. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 20(2): 673-687.
  • Goes, Saskia, Collier, Jenny, Blundy, Jon, Davidson, Jon, Harmon, Nick, Henstock, Tim, Kendall, J., Macpherson, Colin, Rietbrock, Andreas, Rychert, Kate, Prytulak, Julie, van Hunen, Jeroen, Wilkinson, Jamie & Wilson, Marjorie (2019). Project VoiLA: Volatile Recycling in the Lesser Antilles. Eos 100.
  • Heron, PJ, Peace, AL McCaffrey, K , Welford, JK Wilson, R, van Hunen, J & Pysklywec, RN (2019). Segmentation of rifts through structural inheritance: Creation of the Davis Strait. Tectonics 38(7): 2411-2430.
  • Allen, R.W., Collier, J.S., Stewart, A.G., Henstock, T., Goes, S., Rietbrock, A. & Voila Team (2019). The role of arc migration in the development of the Lesser Antilles: A new tectonic model for the Cenozoic evolution of the eastern Caribbean. Geology 47(9): 891.

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