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Dr Julien Leuthold

Dr Julien Leuthold

Dr Julien Leuthold

Research Fellow

Area of research

Infiltration metasomatism within the Rum layered intrusion (Scotland)

Wills Memorial Building,
Queen's Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 3315181


Magma chamber dynamics

Magma chambers are complex reservoirs, built up by a succession of pulses. What is replenishment frequency? What is infilling magma temperature? Does magma solidify within a few years? Do successive magma pulses mix? What are the effects on crystals and liquid composition evolution? Are there evidences for triggered eruptions? By coupling detailed field observations to high precision microanalyses, I like to combine clues that serve to understand dynamic processes and their different time scales. It is exciting to read crystals, rocks and landscapes about their history!

My current research interests:

- Magma emplacement and feeding system, using spectacular outcrops as a basis. - Mineral texture and geochemistry as indicative of changing crystallization conditions. - Experimental petrology as a tool to understand magma mixes. - Timing of magmatic processes, resolved by high precision dating.

My field areas:

- The Vega de Rio las Palmas (Fuerteventura, Canary Island) bimodal annular complex, were mingling and mixing processes have been evidenced prior to and during emplacement. - The Torres del Paine (Patagonia, Chile) mafic sill and stock-like complexes, where my researches are focused on growth rate, sill emplacement dynamic, origin of magma and intrusion's feeding system. - The Rum layered Intrusion (Scotland), where I study reactive flow through crystal mush.


I did my M.Sc Thesis in Switzerland (University of Lausanne), under the direction of Prof. François Bussy. I worked on magma mingling and mixing during emplacement of a cone sheet and ring dike complexes in the Basal Complex of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands). Detailed field, geochemical and petrological studies were used to reconstruct the links between tectonic and magma emplacement.

My Ph.D Thesis was supervised by Prof. Othmar Müntener, in Switzerland (University of Lausanne). I studied on the build up of the Torres de Paine laccolith (Patagonia), focusing on the mafic complex. Outcrops reveal the 3-D of a 12.5Ma old magmatic complex. Combined to detailed field works, high precision dating on zircon, detailed geochemical analyses and a careful petrological have pointed out the crystal transport through the crust, magma emplacement timing, and mafic to granite fractionation link.

I am now working with Prof. Jon Blundy at the University of Bristol, in close collaboration with Dr. Marian Holness of Cambridge. I am studying small scale infiltration metasomatism within the Unit 9 of the famous Rum layered intrusion. I am using LA-ICP-MS and experiments to resolve questions concerning timing of magma injection, chemical evolution and involved volumes.


I really like to teach geology to students, or talk about it for hours to interested people. I am convinced that field work has to be a pillar in earth sciences studies! During my Ph.D. Thesis, I was involved in first to third years igneous and metamorphic petrology tutorials. Also, I taught LA-ICP-MS and liquid mode to M.Sc. students.


  • Magma emplacement
  • magma mixes
  • liquid differentiation
  • timing

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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