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Dr Malcolm Massuyeau

Malcolm Massuyeau
Dr Malcolm Massuyeau
Department of Geology Postdoctoral Fellows
Postdoctoral fellow

Contact Details
C1 Lab 432
+27 (0)11 559 4739

Current position

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Geology, University of Johannesburg



  • Postdoctorate position, Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans (ISTO), Orléans, France (January 2016 – November 2016)
  • PhD in Earth Sciences, Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans (ISTO), Orléans, France (2011 - 2015). Title: "Thermodynamics of melting in the Earth's mantle in presence of CO2-H2O"


Research interests

I am principally interested in chemical thermodynamics as applied to mantle magmatism in the presence of volatiles, with a solid background in experimental petrology. My modelling work aims at better considering the effects of pressure-temperature-chemical conditions on mantle melting in the presence of volatiles, and its relationships with the global geodynamical-geophysical picture.

My current research, in collaboration with Prof. Fanus Viljoen and Prof. Sebastian Tappe, is focused on two principal points:

    • Thermodynamic modelling to predict the behaviour of trace elements in CO2-H2O-bearing melts, and their partitioning with the ambient peridotite mantle;
    • Capturing the conditions of formation and ascent of kimberlites.


Main skills

Modelling of multicomponent melts for different approaches: crystal-liquid, fluid-liquid (solubility studies), immiscibility, redox processes; understanding and using equations of state for fluids, and thermodynamics of crystalline solutions; computational skills: Octave, Scilab, Matlab, Fortran and C; experimental petrology; mantle petrology and related geophysical issues


Published papers

  • Aulbach, S., Massuyeau, M., Gaillard, F., 2016, Origins of cratonic mantle discontinuities: A view from petrology, geochemistry and thermodynamic models, Lithos 268-271, 364-382. doi:org/10.1016/j.lithos.2016.11.004

  • Massuyeau, M., Gardés, E., Morizet, Y., Gaillard, F., 2015, A model for the activity of silica along the carbonatite-kimberlite-mellilitite-basanite melt compositional joint, Chemical Geology 418, 206-216. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.07.025

  • Moussallam, Y., Morizet, Y., Massuyeau, M., Laumonier, M., Gaillard, F., 2015, CO2 solubility in kimberlite melts, Chemical Geology, 418 198-205. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.11.017

  • Sifré, D., Gardés, E., Massuyeau, M., Hashim, L., Hier-Majumder, S., Gaillard, F., 2014, Electrical conductivity during incipient melting in the oceanic low-velocity zone, Nature 509 (7498), 81–85. doi:10.1038/nature13245


Conference presentations (since 2015)

  • Massuyeau, M., Gardés, E., Morizet, Y., Aulbach, S., Gaillard, F., 2015, Modelling the composition of H2O-CO2-rich incipient melts in the Upper Mantle, Goldschmidt, Prague (Czech Republic) [Talk]
  • Massuyeau, M., 2016, Thermodynamics of melting in the Earth's mantle in presence of CO2-H2O, High Temperature Materials Chemistry (HTMC), Orléans (France) [Talk]
  • Moussallam, Y., Larre, C., Massuyeau, M., Morizet, Y., Gaillard, F., 2016, H2O-CO2 solubility in low SiO2-melts and the unique mode of kimberlite degassing and emplacement, Experimental Mineralogy Petrology and Geochemistry (EMPG), Zürich (Switzerland) [Talk]
  • Massuyeau, M., Aulbach, S., Gaillard, F., 2016, How lithospheric thickness regulates intraplate magma chemical composition during melting in mantle plumes, Study of the Earth's Deep Interior (SEDI), Nantes (France) [Poster]
  • Massuyeau, M., Le Trong, E., Gardés, E., Aulbach, S., Morizet, Y., Gaillard, F., 2016, Thermodynamic modelling constraints on incipient melt compositions in carbonated upper mantle, European Mineralogical Conference (EMC), Rimini (Italy) [Talk]