Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Systems with alphaMELTS 2
This is the home page for the two day workshop that will be held at the Goldschmidt 2022 conference, if the meeting goes ahead as intended.
The workshop will replace the NSF-sponsored workshops that we had planned to hold at Caltech, and elsewhere;
for information about NSF-sponsored two to three day workshops that we have held in the past, please see the
alphaMELTS NSF workshops page.
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.
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 Systems with alphaMELTS 2 Organizers: Paula Antoshechkina, Paul Asimow (Caltech) Date: July 9th - 10th, 2022, 9.00AM - 5.00PM each day Venue: Building and room TBD, Hawaii Convention Center Registration fee for two days: $190 (full price) / $65 (Early Career Researchers†), per particpant; payable by credit/debit card Workshop registration deadline: TBD but on or after the early conference registration deadline Early registration deadline for Goldschmidt conference: May 31st, 2022
†Students, postdocs, and/or research scientists within 6 years of their PhD. ECRs who are eligible for the Conference
Grant Program on account of their institution being in a country defined by the World Bank as low-income or lower-middle-income
economy can apply for a fee waiver for the workshop.
The workshop is being hosted at the Hawaii Convention Center, same as the conference location, and is open to all participants at the Goldschmidt 2020 meeting. (Previously, in 2020, it was to be held at the
University of Hawaii, at Manoa - please ignore any reference to that.) The $190/$65 fee includes
refreshments and lunch for each day. The deadline for workshop registration usually 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 2022
Registration and payment for the workshop will be available together during the conference registration process, once
registration opens (currently slated for January 2022).
We intend to cover a range of topics during the workshop, including:
Background to, and strengths and limitations of the computational phase equilibria approach taken by the
MELTS family of algorithms
Comparison of MELTS models (rhyolite-MELTS 1.0.2, 1.1.0, 1.2.0; pMELTS; pHMELTS) and suitability for particular
Common errors in running the models and important ways to apply them efficiently and accurately
Introduction to the alphaMELTS 2, and alphaMELTS for MATLAB/Python interfaces
The trace element engine in alphaMELTS 2, including the expanded D(P,T,X) functionality of alphaMELTS 2.
traceDs, a database of experimental studies involving trace element
distribution between liquid, and solid phases, and how to use traceDs search results in alphaMELTS 2
Brief discussion of the next generation of models (e.g. high pressure phase equilibria in xMELTS)
and planned extensions to the existing interfaces
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.
This was the intended schedule when the workshop was to be held in 2020. It will be updated
nearer the time:
9th July 2022: Introduction to alphaMELTS 2, and alphaMELTS for MATLAB/Python
AM session 1: Welcome to the workshop; brief overview of MELTS software programs that we will be
using and how to install them
9.30 AM: Talk on model construction for the MELTS family of algorithms; modeling modeling magma chamber
processes, including liquid lines of descent (LLD), assimilation and fractional crystallization (AFC)
10.30 AM: Coffee break (exact time TBD; software installation clinic)
11.00 AM: Practical session, getting started with alphaMELTS 2; how to generate input files, and plot results,
modeling fractional crystallization, LLD etc.
12.30 PM Lunch break
PM sesion 1: Continued from previous session, modeling magma chamber processes with alphaMELTS 2
3.00 PM: Refreshments served (exact time TBD)
PM session 2: Introduction to alphaMELTS for MATLAB/Python*: modeling mantle melting, phase diagram mode etc.
5.00 PM: End of afternoon session
10th July 2022: Trace elements and advanced features in alphaMELTS, MELTS clinic
AM session 1: Refresher/update on new alphaMELTS 2 features, and trace elements in alphaMELTS 2. Very brief
introduction to ENKI and the tools hosted there, and discussion of how alphaMELTS and other MAGMA@Caltech tools fit in with the
ENKI project (Paula Antoshechkina)
10.30 AM Coffee break (exact time TBD)
AM session 2: Advanced calculations: e.g. assimilation and other (user-defined) open-system behavior, polybaric
mantle melting of two sources that are thermal but not chemical equilibrium
12.30 PM Lunch break
PM session 1: Work through problems suggested by participants. Possibility to break out into smaller groups with common
interests or to work individually with instructors
3.00 PM: Refreshments served (exact time TBD)
PM session 2: Continued from previous session, followed by group discussion - concluding remarks, feedback, and
suggestions for features that workshop participants would like to see in alphaMELTS 2 soon
5.00 PM: End of afternoon session
*Note that having access to MATLAB is not a requirement for participation. Python alternatives for each exercise have been
generated (and R versions should be available by the time of the workshop); the MATLAB and Python interfaces to alphaMELTS are
near-identical. R users will need to have Python installed.
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.
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.
Paula Antoshechkina (née Smith) is
a Senior 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.
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.