alphaMELTS Workshop Home

Please join us for a two day workshop Thermodynamic Modeling of Volcanic Systems with alphaMELTS 2 to be held January 28-29, 2023, prior to the postponed IAVCEI meeting in Rotorua, NZ.

MAGMA logo: a volcano with a fire fountain based on the Caltech logo

Thermodynamic Modeling of Volcanic Systems with alphaMELTS 2

This is the home page for the two day workshop, originally to be held at the IAVCEI 2021 meeting but postponed to 2023; for the NSF sponsored two to three day workshops held at Caltech, and elsewhere, please see the alphaMELTS NSF workshops page.

alphaMELTS @ IAVCEI 2021 icon

We are pleased to announce a two day workshop on the use of MELTS software for calculation of phase equilibria and tracking of trace elements during igneous processes. The MELTS family of algorithms are widely used by petrologists and geochemists to predict the outcomes of melting and crystallization processes, to compare with experiments or to design experimental campaigns, to assess the energy budgets of igneous processes, to teach the principles of igneous petrology and geochemistry, and more.

Latest news

January 13th, 2023: Latest updates include the following:

  • Early bird registration for the IAVCEI conference has closed, but you can still register for the workshop until the end of the day (NZ time) January 22nd, 2023, the weekend before the workshop.
  • The workshop will be held in Room 5 at the Millenium Hotel, which is a short walk from the conference center.
  • Although the conference will have a virtual registration option, the workshop will be in-person only. We plan to hold an online short course later in the year for anyone unable to join IAVCEI 2023 in-person, and as a refresher for existing users interested in the newest alphaMELTS 2 software developments.
  • As we are unable to hold NSF-sponsored alphaMELTS workshops in current circumstances, we have redirected funds intended for those workshops to subsidize the registration fees for Early Career Researchers and to waive fees completely for ECRs from countries defined by the World Bank as low-income or lower-middle-income economies. These Grant-holder and Early Career subsidies are funded through grant EAR-1947616.

IAVCEI 2021 New Zealand icon

This short course will introduce users to the full range of MELTS models, illustrate the capabilities and potential applications of individual models, demonstrate the available interfaces, and give participants first hand experience running the software and tools. This workshop will differ from previous alphaMELTS workshops in emphasizing modeling of volcanic systems, including vapor saturation, and magma chamber processes. We will focus on the newly released alphaMELTS 2 (text-based) interface and access to alphaMELTS from MATLAB, Python, and R programming environments, but will also introduce other popular MELTS software, such as ENKI's Thermoengine, MELTS for Excel and the Magma Chamber Simulator.

Title: Thermodynamic Modeling of Volcanic Systems with alphaMELTS 2
Organizers: Paula Antoshechkina, Paul Asimow (Caltech)
Date: January 28th - 29th, 2023, 9.00AM - 5.00PM Saturday, 9.00AM - 4.00PM Sunday
Venue: Millenium Room Room 5, Millennium Hotel
Registration fee for two days: 160 NZD (full price) / 60 NZD (Early Career Researchers†), per particpant; payable by credit/debit card
Early registration deadline for IAVCEI conference: November 20th, 2022
Workshop registration deadline: January 22nd, 2023

Students, postdocs, and/or research scientists who would have been within 7 years of their PhD (not including parental or other leave) when the conference was originally scheduled to go ahead in 2021. Participants who have an IAVCEI grant to attend the conference can apply for a fee waiver for the workshop.

The workshop is being hosted at the Millenium Hotel, approximately 10 minutes walk from the conference location and is open to all participants at the IAVCEI meeting. The 60 / 160 NZD fee includes refreshments and lunch for each day. The workshop finishes one hour earlier on Sunday, at 4:00PM, to allow time for people to head to the conference centre (Energy Events Centre) to register in advance of the pƍwhiriopening ceremony which will start at 5:30PM.

Workshop programme

We intend to cover a range of topics during the workshop, including:

Talks describing the models and software will be kept brief to allow more time for first hand experience with the software. Particular features will be higlighted on the platforms for which they are most convenient (e.g. alphaMELTS for trace elements; alphaMELTS for MATLAB/Python for open system behavior). Application to magma chamber processes and mantle melting will be discussed, and short demonstrations will be included as illustrations. Examples from the introductory sessions will be expanded on, and some special calculations will highlight features that are only available (or only convenient) on individual platforms.

The approximate schedule will be posted nearer the time.

*Note that having access to MATLAB is not a requirement for participation. The data visualization part of the exercises will be possible in MATLAB Online, which we hope to have a workshop license for. Python (or possibly R) alternatives for each exercise will be available, if needed; the MATLAB and Python interfaces to alphaMELTS are near-identical.

We will also have time for Q&A with individual workshop organizers to address participants' particular interests during the break-out sessions. Please feel free to bring examples that you would like us to look at. This could be a calculation that you have attempted that does seem to work or simply a composition (major elements in wt% or grams of oxides; trace elements, optional for alphaMELTS, in ppm) and conditions that you would see calculated.

Workshop Materials

Links to example files, from a 3-day workshop, are available by clicking the Links tab above (since previous 1- and 2-day in-person workshops at Goldschmidt conference using alphaMELTS 1.9, we are updating to the newer alphaMELTS 2 format). The files will be updated nearer the time of this workshop. Some examples (such as MORB crystallization) will be provided for more than one front-end, so that you can see similarities and differences.

Links to software front-ends that will be demonstrated at the workshop are available by clicking the Links tab above. If you decide to install the software in advance, you can test the installation using the appropriate 'Quick Start using MELTS' tutorial example; otherwise there will be plenty of opportunity during the workshop to install the software of your choice, with help from the organizers.

Workshop Organizers

Photo of Paula Antoshechkina

Paula Antoshechkina (née Smith) is an Associate Research Scientist at Caltech. She is responsible for most of the alphaMELTS front-end, forum and MAGMA website. At the moment she is focused on pMELTS+CO2 and other calibrations, libalphaMELTS and libpHMELTS interfaces, and various projects that fit between the tools available on the ENKI portal and traditional MELTS software.

Photo of Paul Asimow

Paul Asimow is Professor of Geology and Geochemistry at Caltech. He developed pHMELTS and many of the tools since incorporated into alphaMELTS. He has supervised a number of students and postdocs with MELTS-related projects, both to extend and improve the underlying thermodynamic models and to apply the software to real world magmatic processes. He is also involved in shock-wave experiments and theoretical calculations on silicate liquid and minerals.