School of Earth and Environment

Patrick Sugden Patrick Sugden

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: 8.153L

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics


I am a PhD student working with Dr Ivan Savov and Prof. Marjorie Wilson on collision related volcanism in Armenia. I use trace element and isotope (Sr, Nd, B) geochemistry in order to understand the petrogenesis of magmas in this understudied tectonic environment and magma evolution. Outside of my studies I enjoy hiking and am a Hull City fan.


  • Provisional PhD candidate in volcanology and high temperature geochemistry (present)
  • MEarthSci (University of Oxford)
    • Masters thesis: "The characteristics and mechanisms of the 1902-3 eruptions of La Soufrière, St Vincent."


Student member of AGU

Student member of IAVCEI
Student member of the Geochemical Society

Research Interests

My interests span volcanology, geochemistry and petrology. My research primarily involves the chemical processes which occur in magmas during their genesis and evolution that lead to eruption.

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate Practicals:

SOEE 2590: Igneous Petrology and Ore Mineralogy- 2nd year Geology

SOEE 1580: Metamorphic Petrology

Project details

Project title

Collision related volcanoes of Armenia


Dr Ivan Savov and Professor Marge Wilson


Part of the the Leeds-York NERC DTP (doctoral training partnership)

Start date

1 September 2015

Project outline


Little is known about the petrology and geochemistry of Tertiary-Holocene volcanoes of Armenia, which form part of an extensive continental collision-related volcanic province within the Caucasus Mountains extending from Turkey through Armenia and into Azerbaijan, Iran and Georgia. This is a region with very active crustal-scale faults responsible for triggering large earthquakes. The volcanoes of the Caucasus region have been erupting since the Eocene and many are still active. Their position is intimately related to major fault locations, which are associated with the ongoing collision between 3 tectonic plates- Eurasia, Arabia and Africa. This region represents one of the few places on Earth (in addition to the Himalayan orogenic belt in Tibet), where it is possible to study volcanism associated with active continent-continent collision.

The volcanoes of Armenia (>500 mapped) form an arc of activity that is associated with numerous small pull apart basins related to regional tectonic movements. Many have never been studied previously, making this a frontier area for research. Improved knowledge of the active volcanism in Armenia will provide a critical contribution to a large interdisciplinary international research project (in which Dr. Savov and Univ. Leeds geochemistry labs are key partners) focussed on volcanic hazard assessment in the context of site selection for new nuclear power plants in the region.


This project will include the construction of a petrological and geochemical synthesis of the volcanism within Armenia, with a focus on the Holocene and Quaternary in age lava flows and tephra deposits. It will involve field mapping and sampling, detailed petrographic and textural description of the volcanic rocks and microprobe analysis of the constituent minerals. It will also include measurement of the bulk-rock elemental and Sr-Nd-B-Li isotopic signatures of these rocks either at Leeds or in collaboration with scientists from CNR-Pisa (Italy), Univ. Potsdam (Germany) or Univ. South Florida (USA). The geochemical data will be used to develop petrogenetic models for the magmatism and to understand the relationship between magma chemistry and tectonic setting.