We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Geochemistry Research Group

Group Statement

The Study of geochemistry at Durham is diverse in both research and teaching. With world-class laboratories we apply geochemistry to study a wide diversity of Earth Science topics that include planetary origins and evolution, magma differentiation and sources, climate change, and hydrocarbon system geochronology, which links to the following Department of Earth Sciences themes: Solid Earth, Geoenergy, Resources and Waste, Geohazards. Such range in topics is reflected in our teaching.


Academic Staff

Research Staff

Research Student


Journal Article

  • Garzanti, E., Al-Juboury, A.I., Zoleikhaei, Y., Vermeesch, P., Jotheri, J., Akkoca, BM, Obaid, A.K., Allen, M.B., Andó, S., Limonta, S., Padoan, M., Resentini, A., Rittner, M. & Vezzoli, G. (2016). The Euphrates-Tigris-Karun river system: Provenance, recycling and dispersal of quartz-poor foreland-basin sediments in arid climate. Earth-Science Reviews 162: 107-128.
  • Allen, M.B., Saville, C., Blanc, E.J-P., Talebian, M. & Nissen, E. (2013). Orogenic plateau growth: expansion of the Turkish-Iranian Plateau across the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt. Tectonics 32(2): 171–190.
  • Allen, M.B., Kheirkhah, M., Neill, I., Emami, M.H. & Mcleod, C.L. (2013). Generation of arc and within-plate chemical signatures in collision zone magmatism: Quaternary lavas from Kurdistan province, Iran. Journal of Petrology 54(5): 887-911.
  • Cumming, V.M., Poulton, S.W., Rooney, A.D. & Selby, D. (2013). Anoxia in the terrestrial environment during the Late Mesoproterozoic. Geology 41(5): 583-586.
  • Pacey, A, Macpherson, CG & McCaffrey, KJW (2013). Linear volcanic segments in the central Sunda Arc, Indonesia, identified using Hough Transform analysis: Implications for arc lithosphere control upon volcano distribution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 369-370: 24-33.
  • Finlay, A. J., Selby, D. & Osborne, M. J. (2012). Petroleum source rock identification of United Kingdom Atlantic Margin oil fields and the Western Canadian Oil Sands using Platinum, Palladium, Osmium and Rhenium: Implications for global petroleum systems. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 313-314: 95-104.
  • Burton, K.W.,, Cenki-Tok, B.,, Mokadem, F.,, Harvey, J.,, Gannoun, A.,, Alard, O., & Parkinson, I.J., (2012). Unradiogenic lead in Earth’s upper mantle. Nature Geoscience 5(8): 570-573.
  • Worrall, F.,, Clay, G.D.,, Burt, T.P., & Rose, R., (2012). The multi-annual nitrogen budget of a peat-covered catchment – changing from sink to source? Science of the Total Environment 433: 176-188.
  • Li, Jian-Wei, Bi, Shi-Jian, Selby, David, Chen, Lei, Vasconcelos, Paulo, Thiede, David, Zhou, Mei-Fu, Zhao, Xin-Fu, Li, Zhan-Ke & Qiu, Hua-Ning (2012). Giant Mesozoic gold provinces related to the destruction of the North China Craton. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 349-350: 26-37.
  • Kennett, D.J., Breitenbach, S.F.M., Aquino, V.V., Asmerom, Y., Awe, J., Baldini, J.U.L., Bartlein, P., Culleton, B.J., Ebert, C., Jazwa, C., Macri, M.J., Marwan, N., Polyak, V., Prufer, K.M., Ridley, H.E., Sodemann, H., Winterhalder, B. & Haug, G.H. (2012). Development and disintegration of Maya political systems in response to climate change. Science 338(6108): 788-791.
  • 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.
  • Finlay, A. J., Selby, D & Osborne, M. J (2011). Re-Os geochronology and fingerprinting of United Kingdom Atlantic margin oil: Temporal implications for regional petroleum systems. Geology 39(5): 475-478.
  • Sherwin, C.M. & Baldini, J.U.L. (2011). Cave air and hydrological controls on prior calcite precipitation and stalagmite growth rates: Implications for palaeoclimate reconstructions using speleothems. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75(14): 3915-3929.
  • Allen, M.B., Kheirkhah, M., Emami, M.H. & Jones, S.J. (2011). Right-lateral shear across Iran and kinematic change in the Arabia–Eurasia collision zone. Geophysical Journal International 184(2): 555-574.
  • Niu, Yaoling, Wilson, M., Humphteys, E.R. & O'Hara, M.J. (2011). The Origin of Intra-plate Ocean Island Basalts (OIB): the Lid Effect and its Geodynamic Implications. Journal of Petrology 52(7-8): 1443-1468.
  • Zhu, D.C., Zhao, Z.D., Niu, Yaoling, Mo, X.X., Chung, S.L., Hou, Z.Q., Wang, L.Q. & Wu, F.Y. (2011). The Lhasa Terrane: Record of a microcontinent and its histories of drift and growth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 301(1-2): 241-255.
  • Jarvis, I., Lignum, J.S., Gröcke, D.R., Jenkyns, H.C. & Pearce, M.A. (2011). Black shale deposition, atmospheric CO2 drawdown, and cooling during the Cenomanian-Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event. Paleoceanography 26(3): PA3201.
  • Caruthers, A.H., Gröcke, D.R. & Smith, P.L. (2011). The significance of an Early Jurassic (Toarcian) carbon-isotope excursion in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia, Canada. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 307(1-2): 19-26.
  • Gröcke, D.R., Hori, R.S., Trabucho-Alexandre, J., Kemp, D.B. & Schwark, L. (2011). An open ocean record of the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event. Solid Earth: An Interactive Open Access Journal of the European Geosciences Union 2(2): 245-257.
  • Szpak, P, Gröcke, D R, Debruyne, R, MacPhee, R D E, Guthrie, R D, Froese, D, Zazula, G D, Patterson, W P & Poinar, H N (2010). Regional differences in bone collagen δ13C and δ15N of Pleistocene mammoths: Implications for paleoecology of the mammoth steppe. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 286(1-2): 88-96.
  • 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.
  • Geatches, Dawn L., Clark, Stewart J. & Greenwell, Hugh C. (2010). Role of Clay Minerals in Oil-Forming Reactions. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 114(10): 3569-3575.
  • Swadling, J. B., Coveney, P. V. & Greenwell, H. C. (2010). Clay Minerals Mediate Folding and Regioselective Interactions of RNA: A Large-Scale Atomistic Simulation Study. Journal of the American Chemical Society 132(39): 13750-13764.
  • Burton, K W, Gannoun, A & Parkinson, I J (2010). Climate driven glacial-interglacial variations in the osmium isotope composition of seawater recorded by planktic foraminifera. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 295(1-2): 58-68.
  • Pearce, C R, Burton, K W, Pogge von Strandmann, P A E, James, R H & Gislason, S R (2010). Molybdenum isotope behaviour accompanying weathering and riverine transport in a basaltic terrain. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 295(1-2): 104-114.
  • Niu, Yaoling & O'Hara, M.J. (2009). MORB mantle hosts the missing Eu (Sr, Nb, Ta and Ti) in the continental crust: New perspectives on crustal growth, crust-mantle differentiation and chemical structure of oceanic upper mantle. Lithos 112(1-2): 1-17.
  • Worrall, F, Burt, T.P., Rowson, J.G., Warburton, J & Adamson, J.K. (2009). The multi-annual carbon budget of a peat-covered catchment. Science of the Total Environment 407(13): 4084-4094.
  • Worrall, F, Burt, T.P., Howden, N.J.K & Whelan, M.J. (2009). Fluvial flux of nitrogen from Great Britain 1974-2005 in the context of the terrestrial nitrogen budget of Great Britain. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 23: GB3017.
  • Worrall, F, Evans, M.G., Bonn, A, Reed, M.S., Chapman, D & Holden, J (2009). Can carbon offsetting pay for upland ecological restoration? Science of the Total Environment 408(1): 26-36.
  • 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.
  • Bayon, G, Burton, K W, Soulet, G, Vigier, N, Dennielou, J, Etoubleau, E, Ponzevera, C R, German, C R & Nesbitt, R W (2009). Hf and Nd isotopes in marine sediments: Constraints on global silicate weathering. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 277(3-4): 318-326.
  • Niu, Yaoling & O'Hara, M.J. (2008). Global correlations of ocean ridge basalt chemistry with axial depth: A new perspective. Journal of Petrology 49(4): 633-664.
  • Baldini, J.U.L. , McDermott, F. Hoffmann, D.L. Richards, D.A. & Clipson, N. (2008). Very high-frequency and seasonal cave atmosphere PCO2 variability: Implications for stalagmite growth and oxygen isotope-based paleoclimate records. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 272(1-2): 118-129.
  • Baldini, L.M., McDermott, F. & Foley, A. (2008). Spatial variability in the European winter precipitation d18O-NAO relationship: Implications for reconstructing NAO-mode climate variability in the Holocene. Geophysical Research Letters 35(4): L04709.
  • Allen, M. B. & Armstrong, H. A. (2008). Arabia-Eurasia collision and the forcing of mid-Cenozoic global cooling. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 265(1-2): 52-58.
  • Thyveetil, M. A., Coveney, P. V., Greenwell, H. C. & Suter, J. L. (2008). Computer Simulation Study of the Structural Stability and Materials Properties of DNA-Intercalated Layered Double Hydroxides. Journal of the American Chemical Society 130(14): 4742-4756.
  • Thyveetil, M. A., Coveney, P. V., Greenwell, H. C. & Suter, J. L. (2008). Role of Host Layer Flexibility in DNA Guest Intercalation Revealed by Computer Simulation of Layered Nanomaterials. Journal of the American Chemical Society 130(37): 12485-12495.