Wendy Bohrson

Wendy A. Bohrson
Principal Investigator


Wendy Bohrson is a professor in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines. She teaches classes at the undergraduate and graduate level in physical geology, petrology, isotope geochemistry, and volcanology. Her research focuses on processes that change magma composition. Prior to CSM, Bohrson was a professor at Central Washington University in Geology, a research fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she held two post-doctoral fellowships, one from the University of California Office of the President and the second from the National Science Foundation.  She received her PhD from UCLA and her Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University. 

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Bohrson documents the physical and chemical changes magmas experience as they ascend through and are stored in crustal storage and transport zones. Specific interests include (1) quantifying the roles that magma processes (e.g., crystal-liquid separation, crustal assimilation, and magma mixing/recharge) play in magma evolution, (2) documenting the timescales that influence melt and crystal aggregation, (3) describing the physical disposition (size, shape location) of crustal magma bodies, and (4) at active volcanoes, exploring the relationship between petrologic records of magma processes and geophysical signals that presage eruption. Bohrson and her students explore these interests in two ways. The first is via development and application of energy- and mass-constrained open-system thermodynamic computational tools that track compositional, dynamical and phase equilibria changes in evolving crustal magmas. Specifically, she has worked on EC-RAFC with Frank Spera, and the Magma Chamber Simulator, with Frank Spera, Mark Ghiorso, Jussi Heinonen, and Guy Brown. The second is through integration of textural and compositional data on whole-rocks and minerals from volcanic centers. Current projects include application of MCS to magmatic systems such as the Steens Basalt, Mount Etna, and Kilauea Volcano.  When not studying rocks Wendy likes to cook, hike and read the Feynman Lectures on Physics Volumes I through III.