Alex Nichols

Senior LecturerAlex 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

  • Qian SP., Nichols ARL., Zhang L., Xu YG., Li J., Guo YL. and Ren ZY. (2020) The Mantle Transition Zone Hosts the Missing HIMU Reservoir Beneath Eastern China. Geophysical Research Letters 47(9)
  • Smithies SL., Bassett KN., Browne GH. and Nichols ARL. (2020) Provenance of the Pakawau Group and Farewell Formation (Late Cretaceous–Paleocene), Taranaki Basin, northwest Nelson, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 63(1): 1-34.
  • Bouvier A-S., Manzini M., Rose-Koga E., Nichols ARL. and Baumgartner L. (2019) Tracing of Cl input into the sub-arc mantle through the combined analysis of B, O and Cl isotopes in melt inclusions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 507: 30-39.
  • Fiske RS., Rose TR., Swanson DA., Andrews BJ. and Nichols ARL. (2019) The Kulanaokuaiki-3 tephra, 900 CE: Products of a remarkably energetic pyroclastic eruption at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai'i, USA. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 131(9-10): 1537-1554.
  • Tamura Y., Ishizuka O., Sato T. and Nichols ARL. (2019) Nishinoshima volcano in the Ogasawara Arc: New continent from the ocean? Island Arc 28(1)