Section for Mineralogy, Petrology & Geochemistry

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Kate Dobson

Dr. Kate Dobson

Since April 2016: Durham University


Experimental Volcanology, Magmatic processes, In situ dynamic X-ray tomography, Microstructural controls on igneous processes


Further Information

Geoscience is fundamentally an multi-dimensional subject, yet much of our understanding comes from 2D or 3D “freeze frame” analytical methods, meaning the effect of complex and interdependent interactions between time, mineralogy and chemistry, heat, fluids, and deformation on 3D geological materials are poorly known across all spatial scales. Consequently the dynamics of many geological systems remain ill-constrained. My research is the product of my cross-disciplinary integration of geology and materials science, and I use innovative approaches using the latest in situ laboratory and synchrotron x-ray and neutron tomographic (CT) imaging techniques to address geological research questions. I have used non-destructive real-time CT imaging to capture the dynamics of geological processes as diverse as: magmatic rheology, geochemical reactions, and multi-phase flow in 4D (3D + time) and 5D (+ chemistry) across a range of spatial and temporal scales. My own work is dominantly in the mineralogical and igneous petrological realm, with application in the understanding of volcanic processes and hazard prediction and the formation of the early Earth, but I have also applied the same techniques to quantify meteorite impact histories, resource security (minerals, water, radioactive waste, hydrocarbon exploitation), environmental geochemistry and permafrost responses to climate change.