Alex Nichols

Senior Lecturer Above the BarAlex Nichols

Petrology
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) 20 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00445-023-01630-7.
  • 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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2022.117638.
  • 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/petrology/egac050.
  • McIntosh IM., Tani K., Nichols ARL., Chang Q. and Kimura JI. (2022) Past eruptions of a newly discovered active, shallow, silicic submarine volcano near Tokyo Bay, Japan. Geology 50(10): 1111-1115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G50148.1.
  • Qian S., Salters V., McCoy-West AJ., Wu J., Rose-Koga EF., Nichols ARL., Zhang L. and Zhou H. (2022) Highly heterogeneous mantle caused by recycling of oceanic lithosphere from the mantle transition zone. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 593 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2022.117679.