School of Earth and Environment

Ivan Savov Dr Ivan Savov

Lecturer: Subduction Zone Geochemistry High Temperature Geochemistry Research Group Leader

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 35199/ trith lab 33952 /column lab 33562
Email address:
Room: 8.132b

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics


Lecturer (geochemistry & volcanology)-University of Leeds- 2008-current

Carnegie Research Fellow- Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM), 2005-2008.

Research title: “Boron isotope systematics of volcanic rocks from intraplate settings”

Advisors: Profs. Steve Shirey, Rick Carlson & Erik Hauri.

Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellow, National Museum of Natural History, 2004- 2005,

Research title: “The nature and evolution of volcanism in Armenia & Western Mexico” Advisor: Prof. Jim Luhr

JOI/USSAC Schlander ODP fellow, 2003-2004

Ph.D. in Geology, University of South Florida, 2004

Dissertation title:” Petrology and geochemistry of subduction-related rocks from the Mariana arc-basin system

Advisor: Prof. Jeff Ryan


American Geophysical Union

Geological Society of Amarica



Balkan Carpathian Geological Association

Research Interests

I study the fluid/magma transport and compositional evolution within convergent plate margins. I am interested in establishing novel links between the elemental and isotopic signatures of island arc and collision zone volcanic rocks and the nature of the subducted slab assemblages-various sediments, altered oceanic crust, serpentinites and their metamorphic derivatives. In the lab I trace the sources of fluids and melts in the mantle by using a wide range of chemical tracers such as the isotope ratios of B, Li, Sr, Nd, Pb and Os, in combination with the concentration of highly fluid-mobile elements such as B, Li, Sb, As, I, and Cs. I also conduct a lot of fieldwork and am an active participant in the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)- related science in the Western Pacific. The volcanic rocks I study in the field are from the active island arc volcanoes in: Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc-basin system, S. Japan, Volcan Colima (Mexico), Avachinsky volcano (Kamchatka), Volcan Cerro Negro (Nicaragua) or from Holocene to Eocene volcanic centres in Armenia, Iceland, Bulgaria, Mexico, Canada and the USA. The metamorphic rocks and mantle xenoliths I study come from various arc and forearc- related successions in the USA, Bulgaria-Greece, Marianas. In particular I am interested in studies of various aspects of melange deposits- a complex mixtures of serpentinites and veined mantle wedge peridotites with sediments and basalts/gabbros. My major tool of research is centred around the operation and maintenance of the Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry lab at U. Leeds. Currently I offer several PhD studentship projects.

Recent Collaborations:

Prof. Patty Fryer (Univ. Hawaii, USA).

Dr. Samuele Agostini (CNR- IGG, Pisa, Italy).

Dr. Detlef Rost (Univ. of Auckland, NZ).

Prof. Chuck & Laura Connor (University of South Florida, USA ).

Drs. Steve Shirey, Richard Carlson & Erik Hauri (DTM/Carnegie Institution of Washington, USA)

Dr. Ralf Halama (Univ. Keele, UK)

Dr. Lubomir Metodiev (Bulgarian Geological Institute, Sofia, Bulgaria).

Drs. Khachik Meliksetian & Arkadi Karakhanian (Armenian Geological Institute, Yerevan, Armenia).

Dr. Thomas Zack (University of Gothenburg,Sweden).

Carlos Navarro-Ochoa (Colima Volcano Observatory, Mexico)

Dr. Roy Price (SUNY, USA)

Prof. Tim Elliott & Dr. Mikel Diez (Univ Bristol, UK)

Drs.Graeme Swindles, Rob Newton, Andrew McCaig; Profs. Paul Wignall & M.Wilson (Univ.Leeds, UK)

Drs.CeesJan De Hoog, Linda Kirstein & Kristina Walowski (Univ. Edinburgh, UK)

Profs. Tamsin Mather & Chris Ballentine, Drs. Steve Turner & Rosie Jones (Univ.Oxford,UK)

Drs.Madeleine Humphreys & Alex Iverson, Prof. Colin Macpherson

Teaching Interests

Isotope Geochemistry (SOEE3102/SOEE5234) (module leader)

Volcanic Processess (SOEE3171/SOEE5630)(module leader)

Cyprus (Troodos Ophiolite) Fieldclass (SOEE3040/SOEE5605)

Environmental Research Projects SOEE3030

Support duties

Leader of Univ. Leeds High Temperature Research Group:

Member of Univ. Leeds Volcanology Research Group:

Member of Univ. Leeds Senate (since 2016)

Project details

Project title

My past PhD students at SEE Univ. Leeds are:

Dr. Julia Crummy (now volcanologist at BSG;

Dr. David Collings (now lecturer at Pontificia Universidad Católica, Peru;

Dr. Elizabeth Watson ( (now Postdoc at Univ. Leeds)

My current (2017) PhD students at SEE Leeds are:

Lubomira Tomanikova (

Project: Volatile & fluid mobile element systematics of mantle xenoliths & their basic host rocks from selected Kamchatka arc volcanoes.


Patrick Sugden (

Project: Collision related volcanoes of Armenia

Autumn Pugh (

Project: The early Toarcian (Early Jurassic) mass extinction event & recovery in the Eastern Tethys


Claire Cooper (

Project: Volcano-Climate interactions in the Holocene



NERC Funded Consortia: Volatiles, Geodynamics & Solid Earth Controls on the Habitable Planet"

For the "Mantle Volatiles: processes, reservoirs & fluxes" Consortia

More project info:

s: processes, reservoirs and fluxes"

Project outline

Research projects I am currently (2017) involved with:

1.The fate of light elements (B-Be-Li) during hydration and dehydration of subducting slabs:

2. Elemental & isotope behaviour at ultra-high pressure (UHP) conditions:

3. The petrological & geochemical evolution of North America's most active volcano:

4. Studies of Icelandic volcanic ash from the North European Holocene tephra record.

5. Petrology & geochemistry of collision-related volcanism in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and E.Anatolia:

6. Using Sr, O snd C isotopes and low abundance trace elements as paleo-climate proxies

7. Petrology & geochemistry of dykes & sills from the San Rafael Volcanic Field, Utah (USA):

8. Evolution of the W. Pacific mantle & early arc crust @ Izu-Bonin-Marianas arc-basin system:

9. The fate of volatiles in the mantle:

PhD studentship opportunities for all EU students

(to begin in 2018):

Hydration of the lower oceanic crust and upper mantle: implications for element fluxes at subduction zones

Advisors: Dr Andrew McCaig, Dr Ivan Savov & Dr Jason Harvey



Petrological & geochemical insights into subduction initiation- the case of Izu-Bonin-Mariana volcanic arc

Advisors: Dr. Ivan Savov & Dr. David Ferguson