Alex Nichols

Senior Lecturer Above the BarAlex Nichols

Beatrice Tinsley Rm 214
Internal Phone: 94410
Understanding volatile behaviour from the source regions of magma deep in the Earth to eruptions at the surface.

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

My research encompasses igneous petrology, geochemistry and volcanology. I specialise in the use of in-situ micro-analytical techniques to measure the compositions of volcanic rocks, glass, minerals and inclusions of melt trapped inside minerals. I am particularly interested in quantifying volatiles to understand mantle volatile cycles and the role volatiles play in magmatic processes, from mantle melting through to eruption. I work with samples from a variety of tectonic settings ranging from basalt to rhyolite in composition. Samples are often collected from volcanoes that erupted under water or ice so that they retain magmatic volatiles. I am involved in the international scientific ocean drilling programme, having participated in two expeditions.

Recent Publications

  • Elms HC., Myers ML., Nichols ARL., Wallace PJ., Wilson CJN., Barker SJ. and Charlier BLA. (2023) Pre-eruptive rhyolite magma ascent rate is rapid and independent of eruption size: a case study from Ōkataina Volcanic Centre, Aotearoa New Zealand. Bulletin of Volcanology 85(4)
  • Engel KT., Davidson J., Jolley A., Kennedy B. and Nichols ARL. (2023) Development of a virtual microscope with integrated feedback for blended geology labs. Journal of Geoscience Education
  • Wang SP., Ren ZY., Nichols ARL., Narantsetseg T., Zhang QL., Zhang L. and Yuan C. (2023) Cenozoic mantle plume activity in East Asia: Constraints from geochemistry of olivine, spinel, and melt inclusions. Lithos 456-457
  • Bouvier AS., Rose-Koga EF., Nichols ARL. and Le Lay C. (2022) Melt inclusion formation during olivine recrystallization: Evidence from stable isotopes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 592
  • Collins N., Rowe MC., Kilgour G., Nichols ARL., Schipper CI., Tari D. and Garaebiti E. (2022) A Petrologic Insight into Transitioning Eruption Styles from the Devil's Rock Region, Ambae, Vanuatu. Journal of Petrology 63(7): 517-529.