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Daniel Coulthard

Daniel Coulthard Jr.


Tertiary education

  • 2011-14
  • MSc Geoscience - The University of Iowa, USA
  • 2011-16
  • BSc Geoscience and Environmental Science - The University of Iowa, USA


Daniel Coulthard Jr.

MSc: “Subduction initiation and igneous petrogenesis: Characterizing melt generation at a new convergent boundary through the geochemical analysis of volcanic glass”

BSc: “Geothermobarometry and textural analysis of flank-zone alkali basalts from Snaefellsnes, Iceland”

PhD Research


“Development and application of the analysis of hydrogen in nominally anhydrous minerals”

The research I am performing at Massey will help geoscientists evaluate and quantify the dissolved water content of natural magmas. At present, we have conducted a series of experiments which have crystallized spinel structured oxides (spinels) in the presence of water so that we may determine if hydrogen is being taken up within the spinel crystal structure. These experiments are novel in a sense that oxide spinels have not been investigated for their water contents previously, and if we are able to show that hydrogen is present, then we will be able to give geologists a new way to discern how much water is dissolved in a primary magma. The ability to do so precisely is invaluable to geochemists, ore geologists, volcanologists, and geodynamicists.

The application of our findings depends on the results of our experiments. Regardless, a second aspect of this project is the application of established geohygrometers. The Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc system is an archtypical oceanic subduction system that initiated during the Eocene (Reagan et al., 2017). This arc system preserves crust that was generated at the time of initiation and subsequently added to the newly formed basement. A case study of hydrogen in nominally anhydrous minerals preserved in these rocks could give us an idea of the transient magmatic water budget during arc initiation and maturation which has implications for research on volatile recycling and the water contents of arc magmas.

Research Interests

Daniel Coulthard Jr.
  • Water contents of primary magmas

  • Geochemistry and petrogenesis of mafic/ultramafic melts

  • Metamorphic dehydration reactions of mafic/ultramafic rocks and slab fluid geochemistry

  • Integrated study of petrology and tectonics with focus on melt generation and metamorphic evolution during transient tectonic processes
  • Construction of mantle convection models integrating petrologic, tectonic, and geophysical observations


    Daniel Coulthard Jr.
    Daniel Coulthard Jr.