Dr Michael Clifton Rowe

BSc Hon (Washington State University), PhD (Oregon State University)

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Senior Lecturer

Research | Current

My research is in geochemistry, igneous petrology, and volcanology. I primarily specialize in X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and in situ geochemical techniques including electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), laser ablation (LA) ICP-MS, and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to measure spatial changes in the chemical compositions of materials.

Ongoing research in petrology and volcanology reflects my broad interests including volatile diffusion and metasomatism in the mantle, magma generation and evolution in subduction and continental rift settings, processes and timescales of magma ascent and eruption, and the transfer of volatiles and volatile metals from magmas to hydrothermal systems. In addition, technique development and application of XRD analysis to understanding the crystallization of geologic materials and characterizing amorphous phases has resulted in a wide range of diverse applications including the cooling and alteration history of ignimbrites, stability of dacite lava domes, eruption dynamics of basaltic magmas, and characterization of planetary materials.  

Collaborative efforts, utilizing the above mentioned geochemical tools, have also opened up new research directions in geochemistry and mineralogy of hydrothermal deposits and geothermal systems, dendrochemistry, phytoremediation, weathering of aggregate materials in roading, and CO2 sequestration.

Teaching | Current

My primary teaching responsibilities include

Earth Science 203 (Optical Mineralogy)

Earth Science 304 (Igneous Petrology/Geochemistry)

Earth Science 720 (Geochemistry of our World)

In addition to these taught courses I contribute to our field teaching programme at multiple levels.

Postgraduate supervision

Current Postgraduate students (joint/primary supervisor in parentheses)

Jie Wu (PhD) Pre-caldera magmatism at the Valles Caldera (joint w/ S. Cronin)

Elaine Smid (PhD) Magma genesis and ascent of NZ magmas (J. Lindsay primary)

Geoff Lerner (PhD)  Paleomagnetism at Mt. Taranaki (S. Cronin primary)

Ken Wai (PhD) Phytoremediation in suspended raingardens (L. Padhye primary)

Yuan Jiang (MSc) Alteration history of Te Kopia sinters

Megan Ferguson (MSc) Phreatomagmatism in the Auckland volcanic field

Erik Mass (MSc)  Kauri Dendrochemistry (G. Boswijk primary)

Lucy Carson (MSc) Structure/alteration in Broken Hills District, Coromandel (J. Rowland primary)


Completed Postgraduate students

Alex Iveson (2017 PhD) Trace metals in shallow intermediate magma systems

Edgar Zorn (2017 MSc) Crystallization history of the Taranaki lava dome

David Rhodes (2016 MSc) Rheology of Auckland Volcanic Field lavas

Christine Guarino (2016  MSc) Cu-Co phytoremediation in mine remediation

Julius Dimabayao (2016  MSc) Geothermal epidote stable isotope analysis

Shreya Kanakiya (2016 MSc) Carbon sequestration in basalts (M. Adams primary)

Rosemary Arts (2015 MSc) Geochemistry of Eucrite meteorites (J. Baker primary)

Brooke Norling (2015 MSc) Metals in the Mt. Edgecumbe magma system

Baby Santos (2014 MSc) Geothermometry of Bacon-Manito geothermal system

Timothy Hampel (2012 MSc) Mount St Helens amphibole

Yuli Heled (2016 BScH) Crystallization of the Whakamaru Ignimbrite

Alexis Salting (2015 BScH) Aggregate weathering-Chatham Is.

Jordan Widodo (2015 BScH) Aggregate weathering-Huntly

Jenna Sharpe (2014 BScH) Mt. Taranaki amphibole compositions


School of Environment X-ray Centre Academic Advisor

Areas of expertise

Geochemistry, Igneous Petrology, Volcanology

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Chair of School of Environment Postgraduate Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Zorn, E. U., Rowe, M. C., Cronin, S. J., Ryan, A. G., Kennedy, L. A., & Russell, J. K. (2018). Influence of porosity and groundmass crystallinity on dome rock strength: a case study from Mt. Taranaki, New Zealand. Bulletin of Volcanology, 80 (4).10.1007/s00445-018-1210-8
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Shane Cronin
  • Davis, K. N., Wolff, J. A., Rowe, M. C., & Neill, O. K. (2017). Sulfur release from main-phase Columbia River Basalt eruptions. Geology, 45 (11), 1043-1046. 10.1130/G39371.1
  • McGee, L. E., Brahm, R., Rowe, M. C., Handley, H. K., Morgado, E., Lara, L. E., ... Valdivia, P. (2017). A geochemical approach to distinguishing competing tectono-magmatic processes preserved in small eruptive centres. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 172 (6).10.1007/s00410-017-1360-2
  • Kanakiya, S., Adam, L., Esteban, L., Rowe, M. C., & Shane, P. (2017). Dissolution and secondary mineral precipitation in basalts due to reactions with carbonic acid. Journal of Geophysical Research10.1002/2017JB014019
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ludmila Adam, Shreya Jagdish Kanakiya, Phil Shane
  • Rowe, M. C., & Tepley, F. J. (2016). Origin and petrogenetic implications of anomalous olivine from a Cascade forearc basalt. American Mineralogist, 101 (8), 1807-1819. 10.2138/am-2016-5651
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30805
  • Norling, B., Rowe, M. C., Chambefort, I., Tepley, F. J., & Morrow, S. (2016). Volatile behavior and trace metal transport in the magmatic–geothermal system at Pūtauaki (Mt. Edgecumbe), New Zealand. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 318, 27-44. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.02.010
  • Schmidt, M. E., Schrader, C. M., Crumpler, L. S., Rowe, M. C., Wolff, J. A., & Boroughs, S. P. (2016). Megacrystic pyroxene basalts sample deep crustal gabbroic cumulates beneath the Mount Taylor volcanic field, New Mexico. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 316, 1-11. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.02.020
  • Iveson, A. A., Webster, J. D., Rowe, M. C., & Neill, O. K. (2016). Magmatic–hydrothermal fluids and volatile metals in the Spirit Lake pluton and Margaret Cu–Mo porphyry system, SW Washington, USA. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 171 (3).10.1007/s00410-015-1224-6


Contact details

Alternative contact

+64 9 923 6882

Primary location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level 4, Room 438
New Zealand

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