Our group takes a predominantly computational approach to igneous and metamorphic petrology. We are at the heart of an international project that develops composition-dependent equations of state (the HPx-eos) for minerals and geological fluids. Using these equations of state, we can predict which rocks we would expect to be present under given conditions in the Earth. We can also work backwards, matching our predictions to rocks collected in the field in order to estimate the conditions in which the rocks formed. This is a key step in understanding the Earth's rock-forming processes.
The HPx-eos convert experimental data on rocks and minerals into a form that can be applied to field petrology. Our group acknowledges its dependence on the hard work of experimental petrologists across Australia and the world. We are currently working with colleagues in experimental and field geology at Monash University and the Australian National University, developing productive dialogue and approaches between our three disciplines.
We are also interested in the links between computational petrology and geodynamics. We are working with the Underworld team, based here in our School and at the Australian National University, on developing combined petrological and geodynamical simulations.