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Damon Teagle

Professor Damon Teagle

Research Fellow


University of Southampton

Research summary

The principal thread of my science is the role of fluids in chemical exchange and deformation. My research has evolved from resource geology to the quantification of global geochemical cycles and controls on the chemistry of seawater. Records of ocean chemistry provide insights into the evolving competition between numerous Earth processes that add or remove chemical species to seawater. Hydrothermal exchanges between the oceans and the ocean crust are important for many tracers of Earth’s evolution, such as O, Sr, or Li isotopes. My core research is to estimate global submarine hydrothermal fluxes of heat and elements, and assess their impact on major chemical cycles. New data indicate much lower hydrothermal fluxes that challenge the traditional approach of using modern river compositions to balance global chemical cycles. Our research has developed an independent approach for estimating the past seawater chemistry.

Understanding seafloor hydrothermal processes is inextricably linked to the magmatic accretion of mid-ocean ridges but progress is inhibited by a lack of appropriate samples from the lower ocean crust. I am the lead proponent of the on-going Superfast campaign to drill intact ocean crust to cumulate gabbros (ODP 206, 309-312, 335), and a lead proponent on MoHole to the Mantle to sample a complete section of ocean crust and upper mantle, and the recently funded ICDP Oman Drilling Project.

Active mineralization systems provide new understanding of the ancient ore deposits that provide essential resources for society. From deep drilling of submarine ore-forming systems (e.g., TAG, Middle Valley) and analysis of the active mineralization systems in the Southern Alps of New Zealand I have improved understanding of volcanic & sediment-hosted base metal deposits (Cu, Zn, Pb) and metamorphic gold deposits. I am closely engaged in the ICDP Deep Fault Drilling Project to core and instrument the Alpine Fault; the active Pacific-Australian plate boundary in southern NZ.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

The timing and duration of mid-ocean ridge flank hydrothermal chemical exchange

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Jan 2014 - Dec 2018

Value: £50,000