Prof Colin Macpherson, BSc, Edinburgh (1990); PhD, Royal Holloway London (1994)
2014 – present — Professor, University of Durham
2009 – 2014 — 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. More recently, Colin has begun to apply image analysis techniques to understand the dstribution of magmatism. 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 establishing the stable isotope laboratory at Durham.
Committee and Society Service
2017 – 2021 — Staff Member of Durham University Council
2012 – 2016 — Chair of NERC Isotope Geoscience Facilities Steering Committee
2008 – 2012 — NERC Isotope Geoscience Facilities Steering Committee member
2005 – present — Co-Leader, Commission on Subduction Zone Magmatism (IAVCEI).
2004 – 2007 — Committee Member, Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group.
Conferences and Workshops
2008 — Goldschmidt Meeting, Vancouver: Relationship between geodynamics and magma outputs at subduction zones.
2008 — IAVCEI Congress, Reykjavik: From crystals to crust: crustal growth and lithospheric evolution.
2008 — EGU General Assembly, Vienna: Advances in stable isotope geochemistry applied to magmatic and metamorphic systems.
2008 — VMSG, Dublin: Mantle dynamics, sources and components
2005 — Fall AGU, San Francisco: Noble gases in melts and the mantle.
2004 — Goldschmidt Meeting, Copenhagen: Light elements in igneous and metamorphic processes.
2007 — Geological Society Bicentennial Meeting, London. Organising Committee.
2006 — Fermor Meeting, London. Organising Comittee.
2009 — 'Primary, annual meeting in geochemistry. High-Nb basalts or just plain old basalts? Non-slab derived fluxes in arc mantle' Goldschmidt Meeting, Davos,
2008 — 'Lithosphere Erosion and Crustal Growth in Subduction Zones: Insights from Initiation of the Nascent East Philippine Arc' AGU Fall Meeting
2007 — 'Differentiation of basaltic melt in the shallow mantle wedge: implications for mass fluxes into the arc crust.' Goldschmit Conference, Cologne
Membership of Organisations and Societies
American Geophysical Union
Geological Society of London (Fellow)
Prizes & Awards
2007 — Wollaston Fund, Geological Society of London
2004 — Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Durham
Recent and Current Grants
2017 — Leverhulme Research Fellowship - PI - Fingerprinting Interaction of Magma and Carbonate
2014 — NERC Large Grant - co-I - Tellurium and Selenium Cycling and Supply (TeASe)
2013 — NERC Catalyst Grant - co-I - Processes governing semi-metal - PGE linkage in crustal magmatic systems: opportunities for discovery and recovery
2013 — NERC Large Grant - co-I - Volatile Recycling in the Lesser Antilles Arc (VoiLA): Processes and Consequences
2011 — EU (EuroPlanet) - PI - Determining Mantle Sources and Magma Degassing of Kermadec Arc Magmatism using Noble Gases
2009 — NERC Facility Grant - PI -Determining rates of convergent margin propagation and lithospheric thinning in the east Philippines
2009 — EU TransNational Access Activities (EuroPlanet) - PI -Determining Mantle Sources and Magma Degassing of Tonga Arc Magmatism using Noble Gases
Responsibilities in Department
Indicators of Esteem
- 2007: Geological Society of London Wollaston Fund 2006:
- 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
- Cooper, George F., Blundy, Jon D., Macpherson, Colin G., Humphreys, Madeleine C. S. & Davidson, Jon P. (2019). Evidence from plutonic xenoliths for magma differentiation, mixing and storage in a volatile-rich crystal mush beneath St. Eustatius, Lesser Antilles. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 174(5): 39.
- Burton-Johnson, A., Macpherson, C.G., Muraszko, J.R., Harrison, R.J. & Jordan, T.A. (2019). Tectonic strain recorded by magnetic fabrics (AMS) in plutons, including Mt Kinabalu, Borneo: A tool to explore past tectonic regimes and syn-magmatic deformation. Journal of Structural Geology 119: 50-60.
- Burton-Johnson, A., Macpherson, C. & Hall, R. (2017). Internal structure and emplacement mechanism of composite plutons: Evidence from Mt Kinabalu, Borneo. Journal of the Geological Society 174(1): 180-191.
- Ridley, H.E., Asmerom, Y., Baldini, J.U.L., Breitenbach, S.F.M., Aquino, V.V., Prufer, K.M., Culleton, B.J., Polyak, V., Lechleitner, F.A., Kennett, D.J., Zhang, M., Marwan, N., Macpherson, C.G., Baldini, L.M., Xiao, T., Peterkin, J.L., Awe, J. & Haug, G.H. (2015). Aerosol forcing of the position of the intertropical convergence zone since AD1550. Nature Geoscience 8(3): 195-200.
- Bezard, R, Turner, S, Davidson, JP, Macpherson, CG & Lindsay, JM (2015). Seeing through the Effects of Crustal Assimilation to Assess the Source Composition beneath the Southern Lesser Antilles Arc. Journal of Petrology 56(4): 815-844.
- Bezard, R., Davidson, J.P., Turner, S., Macpherson, C.G., Lindsay, J.M. & Boyce, A.J. (2014). Assimilation of sediments embedded in the oceanic arc crust: myth or reality?. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 395: 51-60.
- Ekici, T., Macpherson, C.G., Otlu, N. & Fontignie, D. (2014). Foreland Magmatism during the Arabia–Eurasia Collision: Pliocene–Quaternary Activity of the Karacadağ Volcanic Complex, SW Turkey. Journal of Petrology 55(9): 1753-1777.
- Handley, H.R., Blichert-Toft, J., Gertisser, R., Macpherson, C.G., Turner, S., Zaennudin, A. & Abdurrachman, M. (2014). Insights from Pb and O isotopes into along-arc variations in subduction inputs and crustal assimilation for volcanic rocks in Java, Sunda arc, Indonesia. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 139: 205-226.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Davidson, J., Turner, S., Handley, H., Macpherson, C. & Dosseto, A. (2007). Amphibole “sponge” in arc crust?. Geology 35(9): 787-790.
- 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.