Dr. Oliver Nebel - Honours Project

The other iron ore – carbonates in Austria (yes, not Australia)

Supervisor(s): Oliver Nebel
Field of Study: Geochemistry
Support Offered: Supervision during extensive lab work

The Erzberg is well known as one of Austria’s most prominent mining sides with historic, economic and scientific value. The pyramid shaped open-pit iron ore mine hosts various carbonates including siderite, ankerite, dolomite, calcite and aragonite. The project is focused on the origin and the formation conditions of the siderite-ankerite iron ore.

For this purpose we apply state-of-the-art solid- and fluid-phase geochemical techniques including various traditional and new stable isotope systems (H, C, O, Fe) and elemental analysis (ICP-OES, ICP-MS), detailed mineralogical/petrographic characterization.

The Honours project is part of an ongoing collaboration between Monash and the University of Technology in Graz, Austria

For further information contact: Oliver Nebel

Wilson’s Promontory: igneous petrology

Supervisor(s):  Oliver Nebel, Roberto Weinberg
Field of study: Igneous petrology, isotope geochemistry/geochronology
Projects available: 1
Support Offered: field work and laboratory access

Details of proposed project. The granitic rocks exposed in Wilson’s Promontory show evidence of mixing with mafic magmas and assimilation of crustal rocks. This project will focus on better understanding the processes and their impact on the isotopic composition of the rocks and the nature and composition of the zircons that we will use to date magma crystallization. The project will include field work and sample collection and lab work where you will become acquainted with basic techniques to date igneous rocks and understand their origin.

For further details contact: Oliver Nebel

Picnic at Hanging Rock (and the other mysterious trachytes of Victoria)

Supervisor(s): Jozua Van Otterloo, Oliver Nebel and Sandy Cruden
Field of study: Volcanology, Igneous Petrology and/or Geodynamics
Projects available: Up to two projects available

North of Melbourne, in the area of Macedon and Trentham are Victoria's youngest trachytic rock series formed about 7 Ma. These trachytes to trachybasalts were formed whilst the majority of volcanism in Victoria involved basaltic magmas. What triggered trachytic volcanism in the area and can we expect more volcanism like this in the future? This project aims to understand the formation of these trachytic series, of which remarkably little is known, and to map the extrusives and intrusives. This information can then be incorporated in a geodynamic model of trachyte formation and how magma flowed during emplacement. The research involves volcanological fieldwork in combination with geochemical analyses, with an option to use geophysical techniques (e.g., anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility). A variation of the project involves volcanological fieldwork, GIS based mapping of the intrusives and volcanic vents and to constrain the geodynamic framework of trachytic activity in the area.

For further information contact Jozua Van Otterloo

Is Victoria overdue for a volcanic eruption? How could this look like?

Supervisor(s): Jozua Van Otterloo and Oliver Nebel
Field of study: Volcanology, Igneous Petrology
Projects available: Up to two projects available

The youngest phase of volcanic activity is the voluminous Newer Volcanics Province (NVP) between Melbourne and Mt Gambier. The last eruption occurred ~5000 years ago and we can certainly expect another eruption to occur in the future. There are over 400 known eruption locations in the NVP and the fast majority has not yet been studied. This project aims to understand the Volcanology (formation, eruption styles, energy budgets) and Igneous Petrology (how and where the magma formed and how it evolved as it rose to the surface) of some of the larger volcanic centres, which could function as an analogue for future eruptions. The research involves extensive field mapping and sampling for petrography and geochemical analyses. If you would like to understand the complex architecture of volcanoes more and be involved in new scientific understanding of intraplate volcanic activity (currently a hot topic), this project is certainly for you.

For further information contact Jozua Van Otterloo