PhD in Igneous Petrology of Southwest Pacific Volcanism

The Circum-Pacific Volcanism Research Group in the School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, invites application for a PhD candidate to work on a project as part of a multi-institutional and collaborative international team focused on Southwest Pacific Volcanism. The project will collaborate closely with Dr Cornel de Ronde (GNS, New Zealand) and Emeritus Professor Richard Arculus (ANU, Australia). The PhD project is fully-funded for 3.5 years.

The primary focus of the PhD project will be on the generation and eruption of dacite-rhyolite magmas in the Tonga-Kermadec Arc. The project will initially focus on silicic volcanic rocks from Brothers Volcano and will utilise samples recovered as part of International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 376 to constrain crystal-melt disequilibrium and crystal inheritance in arc silicic magmas and what this tells us about the magma plumbing and storage system beneath the volcano. A wider set of samples dredged from other volcanoes in the Kermadec Arc will then be examined to identify common characteristics of arc silicic volcanic rocks that can inform on magma generation processes. This study can then be extended to the Tofua Arc of Tonga to understand the lateral variation of silicic magma generation along the Tonga-Kermadec Arc where dacitic magmas dominate in Tonga and rhyolite magmas are prevalent to the south in the Kermadec Arc.

Your Responsibilities

  • Conduct original research on the petrology of silicic volcanic rocks from the Tonga-Kermadec Arc, with Brothers Volcano as the initial focus site.
  • Sample selection and description
  • Mineral and glass chemical analysis
  • Whole-rock geochemical analysis
  • Where possible, constraining pre-eruptive volatile contents such as through melt inclusion analysis
  • Petrogenetic modelling (e.g., Thermocalc, Rhyolite-MELTS)
  • Report regularly to the collaborators, publish in international peer-reviewed journals and present research results at scientific meetings

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants should hold (or will hold) a MSc/MPhil degree (or equivalent) in a discipline of geosciences
  • Demonstrated knowledge in any aspects of the following: igneous petrology, volcanology, igneous geochemistry
  • Demonstrated experience in standard petrographic techniques and in the petrographic description of volcanic rocks
  • Familiarity with handling and interpreting different types of geochemical data (mineral chemistry, whole-rock geochemistry)
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and in a team, keep to deadlines and engage in interdisciplinary work
  • Familiarity or demonstrated experience with using petrological and modelling software (eg, Thermocalc, Rhyolite-MELTS) is desirable.

How to Apply

To be considered for a scholarship, you will need to submit an expression of interest (EOI) by 31 January 2024. Follow the instructions provided on QUT - How to apply.

When you submit your EOI, you must include a draft research proposal and evidence of support from your prospective supervisor. Indicate that you are applying for a Faculty of Science EAS Scholarship at question 2 in the financial details section of the application form.

For more information on scholarship eligibility and conditions, please see PhD Scholarship Applicants in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

Please contact Professor Scott Bryan for more information on this project.

posted: 05 December 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.