GD 2020/2021 Augustus Love Medal Lectures & Division Outstanding ECS Award Lectures


GD 2020/2021 Augustus Love Medal Lectures & Division Outstanding ECS Award Lectures
Conveners: Paul Tackley, Jeroen van Hunen
| Thu, 29 Apr, 15:00–17:00 (CEST)
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This session honours the winners of the GD Division medals and awards in 2020 and 2021: The Augustus Love Medals and the Outstanding Early Career Scientist Awards. The four winners will give lectures presenting their research.

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Presentations: Thu, 29 Apr

Chairpersons: Jeroen van Hunen, Paul Tackley
GD Divison Outstanding ECS Award Lecture 2020
Tobias Keller

Magma matters. From magmatic differentiation of terrestrial planets into core, mantle and crust, to magmatism modulating plate tectonics and deep volatile cycles that maintain a habitable Earth, and volcanism causing terrible hazards but also providing rich energy and mineral resources – igneous processes are integral to the evolution of Earth and other terrestrial planetary bodies. Our understanding of volcanoes and their deep magmatic roots derives from a range of disciplines including field geology, experimental petrology, geochemical analyses, geophysical imaging, and volcano monitoring. Observational and experimental studies, however, are hampered by incomplete access to processes that play out across scales ranging from sub-millimetre size to thousands of kilometres, and from seconds to billions of years. Computational modelling provides a tool kit for investigating igneous processes across these scales.

Over the past decade, my research has been focused on advancing the theoretical description and numerical application of multi-phase reaction-transport processes at the volcano to planetary scale. Mixture theory provides a framework to represent the spatially averaged behaviour of a large sample of microscopic phase constituents including mineral grains, melt films, fluid droplets, and vapour bubbles. The approach has been used successfully to model both porous flow of melt percolating through compacting rock, as well as suspension flow of crystals settling in convecting magma bodies. My recent work has introduced a new modelling framework that bridges the porous to mushy and suspension flow limits, and extends beyond solid-liquid systems to multi-phase systems including several solid, liquid, and vapour phases. Igneous process modelling can thus provide new insights into the generation and extraction of mantle melts, the dynamics of crustal magma processing, the outgassing and eruption of shallow magma reservoirs, and the generation of mineral resources by exsolution of enriched magmatic liquids.

How to cite: Keller, T.: Numerical modelling of igneous processes, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5339,, 2021.

Augustus Love Medal Lecture 2020
Harro Schmeling


At various regions within the dynamic earth melts are generated due to decompressional melting, reduction of the solidus temperature due to volatiles or due to elevated temperatures. They segregate from these partially molten regions, rise by various transport mechanisms and may form crustal magmatic systems where they are emplaced or erupt. The physics of various aspects of this magmatic cycle will be addressed.

Melt transport mechanisms

Starting from a partially molten region by which mechanism(s) does the melt segregate out of the melt source region and rise through the mantle or crust? The basic mechanism is two-phase flow, i.e. a liquid phase percolates through a solid, viscously deforming matrix. The corresponding equations and related issues such as compaction or effective matrix rheology are addressed. Beside simple Darcy flow, special solutions of the equations are addressed such as solitary porosity waves. Depending on the bulk to shear viscosity ratio of the matrix and the non-dimensional size of these waves, they show a variety of features: they may transport melt over large distances, or they show transitions from rising porosity waves to diapiric rise or to fingering. Other solutions of the equations lead to channeling, either mechanically or chemically driven. One open question is how do such channels transform into dykes which have the potential of rising through sub-solidus overburden. A recent hypothesis addresses the possibility that rapid melt percolation may reach the thermal non-equilibrium regime, i.e. the local temperature of matrix and melt may evolve differently.  Once dykes have been formed they may propagate upwards driven by melt buoyancy and controlled by the ambient stress field. Often in dynamic models the complexities of melt transport are simplified by parameterized melt extraction. The limitations of such simplifications will be addressed.

Modelling magmatic systems in thickened continental crust

Once basaltic melts rise from the mantle, they may underplate continental crust and generate silicic melts. Early dynamic models (Bittner and Schmeling, 1995, Geophys. J. Int.) showed that such silicic magma bodies may rise to mid-crustal depth by diapirism. More recent approaches (e.g. Blundy and Annan, 2016, Elements) emplace sill intrusions into the crust at various levels and calculate the thermal and melting effects responsible for the formation of mush zones. Recently Schmeling et al. (2019, Geophys. J. Int.) self-consistently modelled the formation of crustal magmatic systems, mush zones and magma bodies by including two-phase flow, melting/solidification and effective power-law rheology. In these models melt is found to rise to mid-crustal depths by a combination of compaction/decompaction assisted two-phase flow, sometimes including solitary porosity waves, diapirism or fingering. An open question in these models is whether or how dykes may self-consistently form to transport the melts to shallower depth. First models which combine elastic dyke-propagation (Maccaferri et al., 2019, G-cubed) with the two-phase flow crustal models are promising.

How to cite: Schmeling, H.: Melting and melt transport mechanisms in the dynamic earth: from melt segregation, extraction to the formation of crustal magmatic systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4971,, 2021.

GD Divison Outstanding ECS Award Lecture 2021
Mark Hoggard and Fred Richards

Combating global climate change remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the coming decades. Whilst oceanographers, ice sheet dynamicists, and atmospheric modellers all have an obvious role to play in leading efforts to tackle this problem, there remain many aspects that require careful consideration and cross-disciplinary interaction in other areas of the geosciences. In this talk, I will use selected examples to illustrate important links between geodynamics and climate change, including improving our understanding of its potential impacts and mitigation. The first concerns the role of mantle convection in influencing palaeo sea-level records and ice sheet dynamics. For example, Pliocene interglacial periods are commonly invoked as potential climatic analogues for the near-future conditions expected in our warming world, but there is considerable uncertainty over the extent to which important sea-level indicator sites have been perturbed, post-deposition, by convection-induced dynamic topography. The second link involves the growing shortage of metals that are key to the manufacture of technologies for low-carbon energy generation and storage. Tackling this shortfall requires an improvement in our ability to locate new, high-grade metal deposits, particularly those buried beneath shallow sedimentary cover. Novel geodynamical insights into the geological processes responsible for ore genesis will form a core component of narrowing the exploration search-space, and we have recently demonstrated this approach for sediment-hosted metal deposits. Through these case studies, I will show that it is primarily through developing an environment of cross-disciplinary discussion and financial support that our community is most likely to progress in understanding the potential impacts of climate change and how we may mitigate against them. Although one of the least well-studied components, the solid Earth is increasingly being recognised as a critical part of the climate system. Researchers working in topics as diverse as rock mechanics, seismology, convection modelling, and geochemistry all have a crucial role to play.

How to cite: Hoggard, M. and Richards, F.: Exploring links between geodynamics and climate change, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13877,, 2021.

Augustus Love Medal Lecture 2021
Irina M. Artemieva

The lithosphere is a thermal boundary layer atop mantle convection and a chemical boundary layer formed by mantle differentiation and melt extraction. The two boundary layers may everywhere have different thicknesses. Worldwide, the thicknesses of thermal and chemical boundary layers vary significantly, reflecting thermal and compositional heterogeneity of the lithospheric mantle.

Physical parameters determined by remote geophysical sensing (e.g. seismic velocities, density, electrical conductivity) are sensitive to both thermal and compositional heterogeneity. Thermal anomalies are usually thought to have stronger effect than compositional anomalies, especially at near-solidus temperatures when partial melting and anelastic effects become important. Therefore, geophysical studies of mantle compositional heterogeneity require independent constraints on the lithosphere thermal regime. The latter can be assessed by various methods, and I will present examples for continental lithosphere globally and regionally. Of particular interest is the thermal heterogeneity of the lithosphere in Greenland, with implications for the fate of the ice sheet and possible signature of Iceland hotspot track.

Compositional heterogeneity of lithospheric mantle at small scale is known from Nature's sampling, such as by mantle-derived xenoliths brought to the surface of stable Precambrian cratons by kimberlite-type magmatism. This situation is paradoxical since “stable” regions are not expected to be subject to any tectono-magmatic events at all. Kimberlite magmatism should lead to a significant thermo-chemical modification of the cratonic lithosphere, which otherwise is expected to have a unique thickness (>200 km) and unique composition (dry and depleted in basaltic components). Nevertheless, geochemical studies of mantle xenoliths provide the basis for many geophysical interpretations at large scale.

Magmatism-related thermo-chemical processes are reflected in the thermal, density, and seismic velocity structure of the cratonic lithosphere. Based on joint interpretation of geophysical data, I demonstrate the presence of significant lateral and vertical heterogeneity in the cratonic lithospheric mantle worldwide. This heterogeneity reflects the extent of lithosphere reworking by both regional-scale kimberlite-type magmatism (e.g. Kaapvaal, Siberia, Baltic and Canadian Shields) and large-scale tectono-magmatic processes, e.g. associated with LIPs and subduction systems such as in the Siberian and North China cratons. The results indicate that lithosphere chemical modification is caused primarily by mantle metasomatism where the upper extent may represent a mid-lithosphere discontinuity. An important conclusion is that the Nature’s sampling by kimberlite-hosted xenoliths is biased and therefore is non-representative of pristine cratonic mantle.

I also present examples for lithosphere thermo-chemical heterogeneity in tectonically young regions, with highlights from Antarctica, Iceland, North Atlantics, and the Arctic shelf. Joint interpretation of various geophysical data indicates that West Antarctica is not continental, as conventionally accepted, but represents a system of back-arc basins. In Europe and Siberia, an extremely high-density lithospheric mantle beneath deep sedimentary basins suggests the presence of eclogites in the mantle, which provide a mechanism for basin subsidence. In the North Atlantic Ocean, thermo-chemical heterogeneity of the upper mantle is interpreted by the presence of continental fragments, and the results of gravity modeling allow us to conclude that any mantle thermal anomaly around the Iceland hotspot, if it exists, is too weak to be reliably resolved by seismic methods.

How to cite: Artemieva, I. M.: Heterogeneous lithospheric mantle, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9245,, 2021.