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Petrogenesis of magmas in the Antillanca volcanic complex (Southern Chile) over space and time

Combine mineralogy and geochemistry to look at the magmatic evolution of Chilean volcanoes.


The spectacular volcanic sequence at Crater Rayhuen, Antillanca. How did the magmas fuelling this eruption evolve over space and time?

How do magmatic systems evolve over time? Do they become more or less complex in terms of their ‘plumbing’?

This project will examine an exceptional set of samples collected through a volcanic time sequence from southern Chile. Compositions of the volcanic material in this deposit change from evolved and amphibole-bearing to less evolved over time – what is happening in the melting region to produce those changes?

The student will examine key hand specimens and thin sections and investigate the whole rock chemistry to model the petrogenetic evolution of this sequence. Fractional crystallisation and melting will be investigated using major and trace element geochemistry.

Geochemical modelling tools and Sr-Nd isotopes will be obtained to look at the role crustal assimilation may have had on the magmas. Putting the conclusions from the geochemistry into the context of the volcanic eruption sequence will provide insight into how magmatism in this area of Chile has changed over time.

Lucy McGee


Dr Lucy McGee, Associate Professor Carl Spandler and Dr Katy Chamberlain

Research area: Mineral and energy systems, Tectonics and solid earth processes

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Geology

Tagged in Honours projects - Geology, Honours Projects - Lucy McGee, Honours projects - Carl Spandler

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition