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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Dr Alexander Iveson

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Earth Sciences

Contact Dr Alexander Iveson (email at


BSc (Hons) Geology - The University of Edinburgh (2008 - 2012)

Mapping Dissertation: Breiðdalur, Eastern Iceland

Supervisor: Thor Thordarson (Univ. of Iceland)

PhD Geology - Washington State University (2013 - 2017)

Research Dissertation: The Magmatic-Hydrothermal Behaviour of Trace and Ore Elements Within Intermediate-Evolved Igneous Systems 

Supervisors: Jim Webster (AMNH); Mike Rowe (Univ. of Auckland); John Wolff (WSU)

Research Overview

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship

My Leverhulme ECF project aims to address the magmatic processes that facilitate the enrichment of economically vital metals. Fluorine is a key complexing agent that stabilises high field strength elements, rare earths, and related metals in silicate melt structures, but that can also pose an environmental health hazard when leached from igneous rocks by groundwater.

I aim to precisely characterise the atomic and molecular structures formed by fluorine in experimental and naturally F- and metal-rich silicate glasses. These data will allow us to understand how the physical properties of fluorine complexes exert the main controls on metal enrichment, and fluorine mobility in low-temperature fluids.

As part of this project and other on-going physical volcanology research, we are currently installing a number of experimental apparatus here at Durham University, including cold-seal pressure vessels and a high temperature rheometer.

NERC Mantle Volatiles Project

My research as part of the 'Mantle Volatiles' consortium focusses on improving our understanding of volatile recycling and heterogeneous fluid inputs at subduction zones through analysis of primitive rocks from Kamchatka.

My project involved the in-situ analysis (EPMA, LA-ICP-MS, SIMS) of minerals, glasses, and melt inclusions to reveal systematic variations in the concentrations of H2O, C, F, Cl, S, B, and boron isotope ratios, from volcanoes in disparate tectonic settings across Kamchatka. 

CollaboratorsMadeleine Humphreys, Ivan Savov, Cees-Jan de Hoog, Frances JennerTatiana Churikova, and Colin Macpherson.

PhD Research

I assimilated complimentary information derived from experimental petrology (IHPV) and natural volcanic samples (Augustine volcano, AK) to better constrain the fluid-crystal-melt partitioning behaviour and fluid transport of trace and ore elements in intermediate-evolved magmatic systems. I also investigated the chemical fingerprints of late-stage metasomatic fluid alteration of the Spirit Lake Pluton/Margaret Cu-Mo porphyry deposit, Mt. St. Helens, WA.

I am particularly interested in the partitioning affinity and fluid-mobility of Li during magmatic crystallisation and late-stage fluid exsolution in hydrous halogen-bearing melts. 

Research Interests

  • Geochemistry
  • Igneous Petrology
  • Volcanology
  • Hydrothermal Mineralisation


Cooper, G.F., Macpherson, C.G., Blundy, J.D., Maunder, B., Allen, R.W., Goes, S., Collier, J.S., Bie, L., Harmon, N., Hicks, S.P., Iveson, A.A., Prytulak, J., Rietbrock, A., Rychert, C.A., Davidson, J.P., & the VoiLA team. (2020). Variable water input controls evolution of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc. Nature 582, 525–529 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2407-5.

Webster, J.D., Iveson, A.A., Rowe, M.C. & Webster, P.M. (2020). Chlorine and Felsic Magma Evolution: Modeling the Behavior of an Under-Appreciated Volatile Component. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 271, 248–288 DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2019.12.002.

Iveson, A.A., Webster, J.D., Rowe, M.C. & Neill, O.K. (2019). Fluid-melt trace-element partitioning behaviour between evolved melts and aqueous fluids: Experimental constraints on the magmatic-hydrothermal transport of metals.  Chemical Geology 516, 18–41 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.03.029.

IvesonA.A., Humphreys, M.C.S., Savov, I., Churikova, T.G. & Macpherson, C.G. (2018). Tracing fluid variations across the Kamchatka arc: melt inclusion volatile contents and B isotopes. Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts, 2018: 4j-311.

Iveson, A.A., Rowe, M.C., Webster, J.D. & Neill, O.K. (2018). Amphibole-, clinopyroxene-, and plagioclase-melt partitioning of trace and economic metals in halogen-bearing rhyodacitic melts. Journal of Petrology 59, 1579–1604 DOI 10.1093/petrology/egy072.

Iveson, A.A., Webster, J.D., Rowe, M.C. & Neill, O.K. (2017). Major element and halogen (F, Cl) mineral-melt-fluid partitioning in hydrous rhyodacitic melts at shallow crustal conditions. Journal of Petrology 58, 2465–2492 DOI 10.1093/petrology/egy011.

Iveson, A.A., Webster, J.D., Rowe, M.C. & Neill, O.K. (2016). Experimental and natural partitioning behaviour of trace elements between hydrous evolved melts, amphibole, plagioclase, and clinopyroxene at shallow crustal conditions. AGU Conference Abstracts, 2016: V31A-3072.

Iveson, A.A., Webster, J.D., Rowe, M.C. & Neill, O.K. (2016). Magmatic-hydrothermal fluids and volatile metals in the Spirit Lake Pluton and Margaret Cu-Mo porphyry system, SW Washington, USA. Contributions to Mineralogy & Petrology 171:20 DOI 10.1007/s00410-015-1224-6.

Rowe, M.C., Iveson, al. (2015). Variation in Volatile and Ore Metal Abundances Along the New Zealand Volcanic Arc as Recorded by Minerals and Melt Inclusions. AGU Conference Abstracts, 2015: V43C-3170.

Wolff, J.A., Iveson, A.A., et al. (2015). A clinopyroxene-plagioclase geobarometer for A-type silicic volcanic rocks. AGU Conference Abstracts, 2015: V13A-3090.

Iveson, A.A., Webster, J.D., Rowe, M.C., 2014. Fluid alteration processes and base metal sulphides at Spirit Lake Pluton, Mt. St. Helens, WA. Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts, 2014: 1100.

Research Groups

Selected Publications

Journal Article

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