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Please join us in-person, July 9 - 10, 2022, for a workshop Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Systems with alphaMELTS 2 to be held prior to the Goldschmidt 2022 meeting in Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA.

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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.

alphaMELTS @ Goldschmidt 2022 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

January 6th, 2022: Latest updates include the following:

  • Assuming the conference goes ahead with the Hybrid Conference Model, the workshop will be in-person only. We plan to hold an online short course later in the year for anyone unable to join Goldschmidt 2022 in-person, and as a refresher for existing users interested in the newest alphaMELTS 2 software developments.
  • If the Goldschmidt conference has to go Virtual then we expect to hold one online workshop to which everyone is welcome, whether or not they attend the virtual conference (as we did for the Goldschmidt 2021 conference that was originally to be held in Lyon, France).
  • 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.

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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 conference website.

Registration and payment for the workshop will be available together during the conference registration process, once registration opens (currently slated for January 2022).

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.

This was the intended schedule when the workshop was to be held in 2020. It will be updated nearer the time:

*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.

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 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.

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.