Cancelled Melting in the Earth’s Mantle -Tracing Sources and Processes

Course content

The main subject of the course is the major processes controlling the distribution of elements and heat throughout the Earth’s mantle. We will focus on the geochemistry of within-plate magmas and use these to decipher mantle processes such as convection, deep recycling of crustal materials, mantle melting and metasomatism of the lithospheric mantle. In the course, we will expand the use of trace elements and isotopes as geochemical tracers and use these to perform modeling of mantle melting and other processes.

The course includes a field trip to Gran Canaria where we will study the formation of an ocean island and the associated volcanic and intrusive rocks. Approval of a written field report is mandatory.

The goal is for the students to learn to use the geochemical and petrological tools and modeling to assess the origin and source composition of mantle derived magmas in the context of global geochemical variations.


MSc Programme in Geology-Geoscience

Learning outcome


  • Detailed knowledge of mantle convection and recycling processes and the formation of mantle plumes
  • The dynamics of mantle plumes and their expression in the eruption histories and chemistry of ocean islands and large igneous provinces
  • Knowledge of the climatic effects of large igneous provinces
  • Knowledge of various types of mantle metasomatism and their associated magmas and rock types



  • extract volcanological data and interpretations during field work
  • model selected geochemical and physical processes in igneous petrology
  • manipulate and evaluate geochemical data related to igneous petrological problems



  • explain the formation of ocean islands and large igneous provinces
  • relate geochemical variations of intraplate basalts to global geochemical variations and formation processes
  • numerical modeling of mantle melting and melt/mantle mixing
  • interpret petrological processes based on field observations
  • integrate field observations with petrographic and geochemical laboratory data

Rock and thin section descriptions, student presentations, modeling, literature reviews combined with ad hoc lectures and a 5-days field trip.

Please see Absalon course page.

BSc in Geology-Geoscience or equivalent is recommended. Bachelor course “High temperature isotope geochemistry and geochronology” is recommended.

Students shall pay for their own travel to and from the field-work area, as well as entry visa (if required), vaccinations (if required) and personal medicine and 125 DKK per day for food and lodging. For outside DK destinations the students are required to take out a private illness and repatriation insurance covering the field period.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Continuous feedback during the course of the block. Written feedback on the mandatory field report.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
At the exam the student draws a question and is examined without preparation. Examination is based on the reading list and the rocks discussed during the course.
Exam registration requirements

Approval of the field report based on the field trip to Gran Canaria

Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

The same as the ordinary exam.

Students who do not fulfill the exam requirements should hand in the mandatory written report no later than 3 weeks before re-exam. Students who have not participated in the field trip wil receive an alternative assigment from the course responsible. The report should be approved.

Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 111
  • Exercises
  • 35
  • Field Work
  • 60
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 3
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Nina Søager   (2-7075426b6970306d7730666d)
Saved on the 19-05-2023

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Courseinformation of students