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Mr Chris Gregson

Mr Chris Gregson

Mr Chris Gregson


Area of research

Deep water: Hydrous silicate melts and the transition zone (Supervisor: Dr Oliver Lord).

Office G6
Wills Memorial Building,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 5243


I am a NERC funded researcher in the Petrology Group, University of Bristol. My research is focused on high-pressure/temperature experimental and computational mineral physics to study the deep interior of the Earth. My research project investigates the presence of water in nominally anhydrous mantle minerals using novel techniques.

Experimental mineral physics – recreating extreme mantle conditions in the lab

In order to recreate the extreme conditions of Earth’s deep interior in the laboratory, we use high pressure/temperature experiments to make mantle phases. This requires either multi-anvil press (MAP) or diamond anvil cell (DAC) experiments. We can then use several analytical techniques (Raman, FTIR, XRD) to study the chemical and structural properties of the mantle phases synthesised during the experiment. From these studies we can interpret the chemical architecture of the Earths deep interior.

Computational mineral physics – simulating mantle minerals at the atomic scale

Using ab initio methods, many properties of mantle phases can now be simulated accurately at an atomic scale to gain a major insight into mantle chemistry. This includes thermodynamic stability, mineral structure, defect interactions, and vibrational spectroscopic (Raman, FTIR, NMR) properties. These simulations complement and can even predict our experimental data. We utilise ab initio modelling packages such as Quantum-ESPRESSO and VASP with use of high-performance parallel computing (BlueCrystal-4, University of Bristol).

Research Interests

  • The physical/chemical properties of mantle minerals and the structure of the mantle.
  • Determining the water solubility and the most-favourable hydrogen incorporation mechanisms in mantle minerals.
  • The influence of hydrogen on deformation mechanisms in mantle minerals.
  • The structure of hydrogen in low-angle boundaries and storage capacity of low-angle boundaries with variable active slip-system in mantle minerals.
  • The influence of dislocations on geochemistry and the impact on deformed geological materials.
  • Modelling mantle minerals using ab initio calculation.
  • Electron-backscatter diffraction (EBSD) techniques.

Project funding

NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Program scholarship – Solid Earth.

William George Fearnsides Fund – Geological Society of London.


- Geology (Ph.D.) - University of Bristol - Mineral Physics and Experimental Petrology.  

- Geology MESci - University of Liverpool - First Class [Thesis: Microstructural analysis of slip-systems in olivine and orthopyroxene,   Dissertation: The geology of northern Isle of Arran.] 

- Research Intern - Institute of Planetary Materials, Okayama University, Japan.

- Research interests: High-pressure mineral physics and experimental petrology, material sciences, rock deformation, microstructures and structural geology.  

- Research focus: Hydrogen defects in nominally anhydrous mantle mineral and the nature of hydrous silicate melts.




- Interior Dynamics

- Remote Sensing and Mapping

- Structural Geology


  • Mineral Physics High-Pressure Experimental Petrology Rock Deformation Structural Geology Material Sciences



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