alphaMELTS Workshop Home

Please join us online, November 23 - 25, 2020, for a virtual workshop Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Processes with alphaMELTS 2 replacing the one that was to be held prior to the Goldschmidt 2020 meeting.

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

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, and that will now be held online instead. For the NSF sponsored two to three day workshops held at Caltech, and elsewhere, please see the alphaMELTS NSF workshops that we have held in the past.

alphaMELTS @ Goldschmidt 2020 icon

We were hoping to run a two day workshop, prior to Goldschmidt 2020, on the use of MELTS software for calculation of phase equilibria and tracking of trace elements during igneous processes. The workshop was cancelled, but we are holding a three day workshop online as part of the Geochemical Society's Fall Virtual Workshop Program. 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

November 17th, 2020: We have cancelled the alphaMELTS workshop at the Virtual Goldschmidt conference, but will hold Geochemical Society's Fall Virtual Workshop Program. Latest updates include the following:

  • As of November 17th, the workshop is officially full and registration has been closed. We will be contacting participants in the next 24 hours with details aobut how to install software before the workshop.
  • The workshop will be held November 23rd - 25th, 2020. The live part will run from 10 AM - 2 PM Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8). In between live sessions there will be (optional) acitivites that participants can complete later that day or the following morning, whichever works best for their time zone. We will also have "office hours" before 10 AM and after 2 PM so participants can drop in for one-on-one help, or to discuss their own research.
  • We are running the workshop through the Geochemical Society's Fall Virtual Workshop Program. There is a fee to cover workshop organization (which allows us to concentrate on workshop content), but there is a discount for members of the GS, EAG, and MSA; students are half price and participants from some countries may register for free. More information, and contact details for conference organizers on the workshop registration page (see right and below).
  • The workshop is open to all, whether or not they are attended the Virtual Goldschmidt conference. 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.
  • We have typically held pre-Goldschmidt workshops for about 50 people, but expect there to be more participants for the online format. Linux, MacOS, Windows 10 are all fully supported and either MATLAB or Python is recommended. The format will be flexible, so that participants will be able to concentrate on their areas of interest; a detailed schedule and information on software installation will be made available nearer the time.
  • The current plan is to have approximately 4 hours instruction per day, with breaks. We will start each day with a talk (which will be recorded and posted on the Geochemical Society site) and follow up with a hands-on session (which will not be recorded, so everyone is encouraged to participate fully).
  • The dates and times were chosen to work around extra commitments, for instructors and participants alike (e.g. homeschooling, putting courses online), and to work across as many time zones where people have expressed an interest in the workshop as possible. We also plan to offer a two-day workshop at the Goldschmidt 2021 conference, in Lyon, so hope that you will be able to join us either online, or in-person, or both!

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. Days 2 and 3 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 appreciates Day 2 and 3. Users who have previously attended an alphaMELTS workshop, especially one of the recent NSF-sponsored GeoInformatics short courses, should also find Days 2 and 3 helpful.

Title: Thermodynamic Modeling of Magmatic Processes with alphaMELTS 2
Organizers: Paula Antoshechkina, Paul Asimow (Caltech)
Date: November 23rd - 25th, 2020, 10.00AM - 2.00PM each day
Venue: Online
Registration fee: $90/$80 (Professional) / $45/$35 (Student), per particpant; payable by credit/debit card
Workshop registration deadline: November 19th/20th, 2020 (depending on timezone)

Registration and payment (if appropriate) for the workshop are available through the Geochemical Society's website. You will need to sign up as a visitor to the website, but you do not need to be a Geochemical Society (GS) member to register for the workshop. More information can be found on the alphaMELTS 2 workshop details page. Included there is contact information for getting free registration if you are from a low-income to lower-middle-income economy country, and for getting reduced price registration if you are member of the European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) or Mineralogical Society of America (MSA). GS members automatically receive the reduced rate.

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 tentative schedule for the in-person workshop. Details of the online schedule are still be determined, but will be updated here soon:

*Note that having access to MATLAB is not a requirement for participation. Python 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 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.