alphaMELTS Workshop Home

Please join us for online to replace the Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Processes with alphaMELTS 2 that was to be held June 20th-21st, 2020, prior to the Goldschmidt 2020 meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, US.

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Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Processes with alphaMELTS 2

This is the home page for the two day workshop that was to be held at the Goldschmidt 2020 conference. The workshop has been cancelled, but we are planning online workshops to replace the pre-Goldschmidt workshop and the alphaMELTS NSF workshops that we have held in the past. Details will be posted here.

alphaMELTS @ Goldschmidt 2020 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. Instructors Paul Asimow and Paula Antoshechkina from Caltech are the designers and maintainers of alphaMELTS 2 and related software, and will cover background to the MELTS models, software installation and use, real world examples, as well as some undocumented tricks that are important to getting reliable results from MELTS calculations.

Latest news

April 6th, 2020: We have cancelled the alphaMELTS workshop at the Virtual Goldschmidt conference, but will hold our own online workshop(s) instead. We are still working out the details. Latest updates include the following:

  • The workshop(s) will be open to all, whether or not they are attending the Virtual Goldschmidt conference, and there will be no fee.
  • We have an list of conference attendees who were registered for the workshop when it was to be held in Hawaii, and those who have expressed an interest since. If you would like to receive email updates on workshop arrangements as they develop, please contact us (see the bottom of this page).
  • Due to extra commitments, for instructors and participants alike, (e.g. homeschooling, putting courses online) we will definitely not be holding the online workshop on the original pre-Goldschmidt dates, but at some point later in the summer.
  • We have typically held pre-Goldschmidt workshops for about 50 people, but we will host smaller groups for the online version so that it can still be interactive. We will offer more (not necessarily consecutive) dates so that everyone who wants to can attend.
  • We will try to group participants to make the online format work more easily e.g. for the Day 1 material it would be helpful to have everyone using the same operating system, whereas Day 2 may be by grouped more by participants' interest. A registration form will be posted here, to help with this scheduling.

Goldschmidt 2020 Hawaii icon

Although there are a variety of ways to access MELTS models, this workshop will focus on the newly released alphaMELTS 2 interface and access to alphaMELTS from MATLAB, Python, and (if there is sufficient interest) R programming environments. alphaMELTS 2 is a text-based front end to the rhyolite-MELTS, pMELTS, and pHMELTS models, with built-in trace element calculations and a variety of unique features and workflows. This workshop will differ from previous ones in that it will be structured so that users can attend either or both days, depending on their needs and previous experience. Day 1 will focus on introductory material and basic functionality for users new to alphaMELTS. Day 2 will focus on more advanced features, larger-scale calculations, and special problems suggested by attendees. We will also have time for a "MELTS clinic" with one-on-one support or break out groups for users' own MELTS calculations (including any using the graphical user interface, alphaMELTS 1.X etc.). Day 1 will constitute sufficient preparation for a novice to be able to appreciate Day 2. Users who have previously attended an alphaMELTS workshop, especially one of the recent NSF-sponsored GeoInformatics short courses, should also find Day 2 helpful. We will start the second day with a refresher/update of alphaMELTS 2's newest features (e.g. the expanded trace element engine).

Title: Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Processes with alphaMELTS 2
Organizers: Paula Antoshechkina, Paul Asimow (Caltech)
Date: June 20th - 21st, 2020, 9.00AM - 5.00PM each day
Venue: Building and room TBD, University of Hawaii
Registration fee: $125 (two days) / $65 (one day), per particpant; payable by credit/debit card
Workshop registration deadline: May 21st, 2020
Early registration deadline for Goldschmidt conference: April 21st, 2020

The workshop is being hosted at the University of Hawaii, approximately 1.5 miles from the conference location and is open to all participants at the Goldschmidt 2020 meeting. The $125/$65 fee includes refreshments and lunch for each day, together with a $5 materials fee. The deadline for workshop registration coincides with the close of standard online registration for the conference. Details on the logistics of staying in Hawaii, such as travel and accommodation for the workshop, are also provided on the Goldschmidt 2020 conference website.

Registration and payment for the workshop are available together as three options ('Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Systems with alphaMELTS2', 'Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Systems with alphaMELTS2 - Saturday only', or 'Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Systems with alphaMELTS2 - Sunday only') during the conference registration process. Or you can select 'Buy' from the alphaMELTS 2 workshop details on the Goldschmidt workshops page; after entering your contact information you will be able to choose the day(s) of the workshop that you wish to attend.

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 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 schedule will be something like (subject to change):

*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 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 not seem to work (not necessarily in alphaMELTS 2; we can offer support for the GUI, alphaMELTS 1.X, MELTS for Excel etc.). Alternatively, simply bring 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

We will provide a thumb drive (that you can keep) with all the software and sample input files. Links to example files, from a 3-day workshop, are available by clicking the Links tab above (since previous 1- and 2-day 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. Either way, it is a good idea to have VirtualBox installed so that you can get going with the first day's practical sessions using VM alphaMELTS if there are any software installation issues.

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.