The Theoretical Petrology group is involved in methodological and practical aspects of metamorphic phase equilibria calculations, including:
- generation of an extensive internally consistent thermodynamic dataset for the end-members of minerals, fluids and melts;
- creation of activity–composition relationships for these phases;
- devising methods of calculation and representation of phase equilibria;
- development of software, particularly THERMOCALC, that implements these methods; and
- understanding metamorphic reaction, in the context of application of phase equilibrium calculations to metamorphic rocks.
The group integrates geological observations in the field with the newest developments in phase equilibria modelling. We have undertaken fieldwork in southern Madagascar and Timor, amongst other places, to further understand the pressure and temperature evolution of rocks over time and how they relate to large-scale tectonic movements in the Earth's crust.