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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Madeleine Humphreys

Royal Society Research Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42343
Room number: Rm 318

(email at


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Durham. I previously held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (at University of Oxford and then at Durham) and a Junior Research Fellowship at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. I obtained my PhD from the University of Bristol in 2006.

My research interests are broadly in igneous petrology, geochemistry and volcanology, with a focus on understanding processes of magma generation, migration and storage. I use the chemistry of the rock record to answer fundamental questions relating to the formation and differentiation of the Earth's crust through volcanic processes. I have particular interests in understanding the role of volatiles in the generation and eruption of magmas at subduction zone volcanoes; and in constraining and tracking oxidation state during magma fractionation and ascent. I am also interested in using crystal textures to understand and quantify solidifcation processes, and the role of crystal mush microstructure in controlling its physical behaviour and permeability. For further information please see the links at the bottom of this page.

Current and recent research projects include:

 - exploiting volatile diffusion in apatite to monitor magmatic processes and timescales (led by Dr Richard Brooker, University of Bristol)

 - developing the use of apatite as a tool to understand and quantitatively interpret the evolution of magmatic volatiles (see our group project webpages here)

 - developing new methods to track and quantify magma oxidation state and equilibrium melt composition, including using minerals such as amphibole and apatite.

I currently supervise three PhD students: (i) Josh Hughes, who is working on melt infiltration and volatile and trace element enrichment in syenites; (ii) Madeleine Stow, who is working on stable isotope fractionation in intrusive settings (primary supervisor Julie Prytulak); and (iii) Kris Sokól (St Andrews), who is working on fenite alteration around alkaline intrusions (primary supervisor Adrian Finch).

I also supervise three PDRAs: (i) Dr Jason Coumans, working on diffusion of water species in degassing rhyolites, with Prof Ed Llewellin; (ii) Dr Alex Iveson, who is working on volatile cycling and fractionation at subduction zones); and (iii) Emily Fallon (Bristol), who is working on constraining volatile diffusivities in apatite, with Dr Richard Brooker. Recent MSci students include Erin Thompson (2019; apatite geochemistry in Mt Damavand, Iran), and Jacob Sharp (2019; modelling of apatite volatile chemistry in porphyry systems).

I am always happy to hear from potential graduate students or post-docs interested in developing projects at Durham.

Recent students include Dr Mike Stock (PhD 2016, now a Junior Research Fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge); Dr Jing Zhang (PhD 2016, now a post-doctoral researcher at Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences); Eloise Bretagne (MScR 2018, now a PhD student at Durham University); and Abigail Metcalfe (MSci 2018, now a PhD student at IPGP). Previous postdoctoral researchers include Dr Olivier Namur (now permanent academic staff, KU Leuven, Belgium) Dr Llewellyn Pilbeam (now a software developer, Oslo) and Dr Jenny Riker (now a permanent teaching fellow, University of Bristol).

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2017: Editorial board member, Geology:
  • 2012: Max Hey medal, Mineralogical Society of Great Britain:
  • 2008: President's Award, Geological Society of London:

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Teaching Areas

  • L3 Volcanology and Magmatism (GEOL3051)

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Plail, M., Barclay, J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Edmonds, M., Herd, R.A. & Christopher, T.E. (2014). Characterization of mafic enclaves in the erupted products of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, 2009 to 2010. In The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. Wadge, G., Robertson, R.E.A. & Voight, B. The Geological Society of London. 39: 343-360.
  • Christopher, T., Humphreys, M.C.S., Barclay, J., Genareau, K., De Angelis, S.M.H., Plail, M. & Donovan, A. (2014). Petrological and geochemical variation during the Soufrière Hills eruption, 1995 to 2010. In The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. Wadge, G., Robertson, R.E.A. & Voight, B. The Geological Society of London. 39: 317-342.
  • Edmonds, M., Humphreys, M.C.S., Hauri, E., Herd, R., Wadge, G., Rawson, H., Ledden, R., Plail, M., Barclay, J., Aiuppa, A., Christopher, T., Giudice, G. & Guida, R. (2014). Pre-eruptive vapour and its role in controlling eruption style and longevity at Soufriere Hills Volcano. In The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. Wadge, G., Robertson, R.E.A. & Voight, B. The Geological Society of London. 39: 291-315.

Journal Article

  • Humphreys, M.C.S., Zhang, J., Cooper, G.F., Macpherson, C.G. & Ottley, C.J. (2019). Identifying the ingredients of hydrous arc magmas: insights from Mt Lamington, Papua New Guinea. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 377(2139): 20180018.
  • Humphreys, Madeleine C. S., Cooper, George F., Zhang, Jing, Loewen, Matthew, Kent, Adam J. R., Macpherson, Colin G. & Davidson, Jon P. (2019). Unravelling the complexity of magma plumbing at Mount St. Helens: a new trace element partitioning scheme for amphibole. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 174(1): 9.
  • Riker, J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Brooker, R.A., de Hoog, J.C.M. & EIMF (2018). First measurements of OH-C exchange and temperature-dependent partitioning of OH and halogens in the system apatite - silicate melt. American Mineralogist 103(2): 260-270.
  • Plail, Melissa, Edmonds, Marie, Woods, Andrew, Barclay, Jenni, Humphreys, Madeleine C. S., Herd, Richard A. & Christopher, Thomas (2018). Mafic enclaves record syn-eruptive basalt intrusion and mixing. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 484: 30-40.
  • Namur, Olivier & Humphreys, Madeleine C.S. (2018). Trace element constraints on the differentiation and crystal mush solidification in the Skaergaard intrusion, Greenland. Journal of Petrology 59(3): 387-418.
  • Stock, Michael J., Humphreys, Madeleine C.S., Smith, Victoria C., Isaia, Roberto, Brooker, Richard A. & Pyle, David M. (2018). Tracking volatile behaviour in sub-volcanic plumbing systems using apatite and glass: insights into pre-eruptive processes at Campi Flegrei, Italy. Journal of Petrology 59(12): 2463-2492.
  • Zhang, J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Cooper, G., Davidson, J.P. & Macpherson, C.G. (2017). Magma mush chemistry at subduction zones, revealed by new melt major element inversion from calcic amphiboles. American Mineralogist 102(6): 1353-1367.
  • Edmonds, M., Kohn, S.C., Hauri, E.H., Humphreys, M.C.S. & Cassidy, M. (2016). Extensive, water-rich magma reservoir beneath southern Montserrat. Lithos 252-253: 216-233.
  • Stock, M.J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Smith, V.C., Isaia, R. & Pyle, D.M. (2016). Late-stage volatile saturation as a potential trigger for explosive volcanic eruptions. Nature Geoscience 9(3): 249-254.
  • Humphreys, M.C.S., Edmonds, M. & Kloecking, M.S. (2016). The validity of plagioclase-melt geothermometry for degassing-driven magma crystallization. American Mineralogist 101(4): 769-779.
  • Humphreys, M.C.S., Brooker, R.A., Fraser, D.G., Burgisser, A., Mangan, M.T. & McCammon, C. (2015). Coupled interactions between volatile activity and Fe oxidation state during arc crustal processes. Journal of Petrology 56(4): 795-814.
  • Humphreys, Madeleine C.S., Edmonds, M., Christopher, T. & Hards, V. (2015). Discussion on ‘Magma storage region processes of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat’, Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 39, 361-381. Journal of the Geological Society 172(4): 533-539.
  • Melekhova, E., Blundy, J., Robertson, R. & Humphreys, M.C.S. (2015). Experimental evidence for polybaric differentiation of primitive arc basalt beneath St. Vincent, Lesser Antilles. Journal of Petrology 56(1): 161-192.
  • Scott, J.A.J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Mather, T.A., Pyle, D.M. & Stock, M.J. (2015). Insights into the behaviour of S, F, and Cl at Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala, from apatite and glass. Lithos 232: 375-394.
  • Zhang, J., Davidson, J.P., Humphreys, M.C.S., Macpherson, C.G. & Neill, I. (2015). Magmatic Enclaves and Andesitic Lavas from Mt. Lamington, Papua New Guinea: Implications for Recycling of Earlier-fractionated Minerals through Magma Recharge. Journal of Petrology 56(11): 2223-2256.
  • Edmonds, M., Brett, A., Herd, R.A., Humphreys, M.C.S. & Woods, A. (2015). Magnetite-bubble aggregates at mixing interfaces in andesite magma bodies. Geological Society of London Special Publications 410(1): 95-121.
  • Stock, M.J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Smith, V.C., Johnson, R.D., Pyle, D.M. & EIMF (2015). New constraints on electron-beam induced halogen migration in apatite. American Mineralogist 100(1): 281-293.
  • Bufe, N. Aaron, Holness, Marian B. & Humphreys, Madeleine C.S. (2014). Contact metamorphism of Precambrian gneiss by the Skaergaard Intrusion. Journal of Petrology 55(8): 1595-1617.
  • Namur, Olivier, Humphreys, Madeleine C. S. & Holness, Marian B. (2014). Crystallization of interstitial liquid and latent heat buffering in solidifying gabbros: Skaergaard Intrusion, Greenland. Journal of Petrology 55(7): 1389-1427.
  • McIntosh, I.M., Llewellin, E.W., Humphreys, M.C.S., Nichols, A.R.L., Burgisser, A., Schipper, C.I. & Larsen, J.F. (2014). Distribution of dissolved water in magmatic glass records growth and resorption of bubbles. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 401: 1-11.
  • Plail, M., Edmonds, M., Humphreys, M.C.S., Barclay, J. & Herd, R.A. (2014). Geochemical evidence for relict degassing pathways preserved in andesite. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 386: 21-33.
  • Stamper, C.C., Melekhova, E., Blundy, J.D., Arculus, R.J., Humphreys, M.C.S. & Brooker, R.A. (2014). Oxidised phase relations of a primitive basalt from Grenada, Lesser Antilles. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 167(1): 954.
  • Humphreys, M.C.S., Edmonds, M., Plail, M., Barclay, J., Parkes, D. & Christopher, T. (2013). A new method to quantify the real supply of mafic components to a hybrid andesite. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 165(1): 191-215.
  • Namur, Olivier, Humphreys, Madeleine C. S. & Holness, Marian B. (2013). Lateral Reactive Infiltration in a Vertical Gabbroic Crystal Mush, Skaergaard Intrusion, East Greenland. Journal of Petrology 54(5): 985-1016.
  • Holness, M.B., Humphreys, M.C.S., Sides, R., Helz, R. & Tegner, C. (2012). Toward an understanding of disequilibrium dihedral angles in mafic rocks. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth 117(B6): B06207.
  • Humphreys, M.C.S. (2011). Silicate liquid immiscibility within the crystal mush: Evidence from Ti in plagioclase from the Skaergaard Intrusion. Journal of Petrology 52(1): 147-174.
  • Holness, M.B., Stripp, G., Humphreys, M.C.S., Veksler, I.V., Nielsen, T.F.D & Tegner, C. (2011). Silicate Liquid Immiscibility within the Crystal Mush: Late-stage Magmatic Microstructures in the Skaergaard Intrusion, East Greenland. Journal of Petrology 52(1): 175-222.
  • Edmonds, M., Aiuppa, A., Humphreys, M., Moretti, R., Giudice, G., Martin, R.S., Herd, R.A. & Christopher, T. (2010). Excess volatiles supplied by mingling of mafic magma at an andesite arc volcano. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 11: Q04005.
  • Humphreys, M.C.S., Edmonds, M., Christopher, T. & Hards, V. (2010). Magma hybridisation and diffusive exchange recorded in heterogeneous glasses from Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. Geophysical Research Letters 37: L00E06.
  • Humphreys, M.C.S. & Holness, M.B. (2010). Melt-rich segregations in the Skaergaard Marginal Border Series: Tearing of a vertical silicate mush. Lithos 119(3-4): 181-192.
  • Christopher, T., Edmonds, M., Humphreys, M.C.S. & Herd, R.A. (2010). Volcanic gas emissions from Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat 1995-2009, with implications for mafic magma supply and degassing. Geophysical Research Letters 37(19): L00E04.

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