Geology research

Geology research at Massey is investigating the relationships between geologic processes, rocks, soils, landscapes and society.

Research expertise

Geochemistry and geochronology

Our research focuses on the high-temperature geochemistry of igneous rocks to elucidate processes of magma ascent, storage, and evolution. We use geochemical tools to constrain the rates of these processes, employing U-series and other isotopic dating techniques as well as the diffusional modification of major and trace element profiles within and between minerals at magmatic temperatures. We also study the low-temperature geochemistry of environmental systems.


Mineralogy, petrology and economic geology

Our focus is on chemical and physical processes in igneous rocks and how they relate to volcanic processes. We also investigate metasomatic alteration products in active and ancient hydrothermal systems. Our mineral compositions research ranges from primary minerals in igneous rocks to clay minerals. We also study the mineralogy and petrology of economic mineral deposits, with implications for the mining industry.



We have expertise in the distribution and properties of New Zealand soils and their sustainable use. We also study soil formation and erosion.


Quaternary and environmental geology

We investigate the Quaternary landscapes, soils and geology of New Zealand, using loess, tephra, paleomagnetic, palynological, terrestrial and marine sediment sequences to interpret quaternary processes and paleoclimate fluctuations. We also study the impact of these processes on soil distribution and human activities.


Sedimentology and basin studies

We improve knowledge of the complex interactions between sedimentology, stratigraphy and structural geology of New Zealand and apply this to resource assessment and exploration. Our research includes applied sedimentology, diagenesis and clay mineralogy.



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Departments and staff

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