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Professor Simon Kohn

Understanding the materials that control large scale processes in the Earth’s mantle and crust

My research is aimed at understanding the materials that control large scale processes in the Earth’s mantle and crust. Most of my work involves a combination of high-pressure and temperature experiments and analytical or spectroscopic measurements.

I have a long-standing interest in understanding the interactions between volatile components and silicate minerals and melts. Such work has wide application to understanding the degassing and eruptive style of volcanoes, the physical properties (e.g. density and viscosity) of magmas and mantle melting. Similarly small amounts of volatile components can have a disproportionately large effect on the properties of the mantle, so knowledge of their concentration and distribution in the mantle is crucial for understanding global geodynamics.

Most recently I have become fascinated by the potential of diamonds and their inclusions to elucidate the structure and composition of the deep Earth. I am particularly interested in integrating measurements of defect concentrations in diamonds with data on inclusion compositions, isotopic ratios, diamond internal morphologies and age determinations.

Research keywords

  • minerals
  • melts
  • fluids
  • the Earth
  • magma
  • Volcanology