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Dr J. Michael Palin

Mike Palin

BA (California State University, Fullerton)
MS (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology)
PhD (Yale University)

  • Isotope Geochemistry and Geochronology
  • Igneous Petrology
  • Hydrothermal Mineral Deposits 

Office - Geology 1S9
Tel 64 3 479 9083
Fax:  64 3 479 7527
Email michael.palin@otago.ac.nz

Earth’s magmatic systems provide our society with beneficial mineral resources, yet confront us with potentially deadly hazards.  To understand these diverse and fascinating systems, we need to know how and where magma is generated, how it moves through the crust, and why it solidifies at depth or erupts at the surface – sometimes as unimaginably large supervolcanoes.  Answering such questions entails geologic detective work because the action takes place in the subsurface, well beyond the realm of our direct experience.  The work is not easy - it takes keen observers with imagination tempered by knowledge of chemistry and physics.  Important constraints on the conditions and timing of magma formation, transport, and solidification are preserved in the compositions of minerals and glass in igneous rocks.  Deciphering these clues is an essential first step in the development of accurate physical-chemical models of magmatic systems that can be used in hazard assessment, mineral exploration, and tectonic reconstruction. 

Matt Sagar (2008 BSc Hons) documents a Cretaceous pegmatite/aplite dike that cuts mylonite in lower plate of Paparoa Core Complex, Westland.
Matt Sagar (2008 BSc Hons) documents a Cretaceous pegmatite/aplite dike that cuts mylonite in lower plate of Paparoa Core Complex, Westland. The ages of such dikes provide important constraints on the timing of deformation.

Research Students (*=principal supervisor):

Current

James Galloway: Igneous petrogenesis of plutonic rock at Oraka Point, Southland (MSc)

Katrin Wellnitz: Cenozoic carbonate alteration zones in the Haast Schist and a potential link between lamprophyres and gold (PhD)

Completed

Andreas Beinlich: Geology of Pigroot Creek: Insight into petrology and thermochronology of the deep crust beneath Otago, New Zealand (PGDipSci, 2006)

Damien Borcovsky*: Petrology of the Wainui shear zone, NW Nelson (BSc Hons, 2004)

Kirstin Brown*: Provenance and metamorphism of conglomerates in the Otago Schist (BSc Hons, 2010)

Katherine Cambridge: Petrology and geochemistry of metabasites in tectonostratigraphic terranes of the Otago Schist (BSc Hons, 2008)

Alice Collins: Petrology and geochemistry of carbonatite-associated alteration in the Otago Schist (BSc Hons, 2010)

Anthony Cross*: Dunite of the Greenhills Complex, Southland: petrology, geochemistry and potential for carbon sequestration (MSc, 2011)

Thomas Czertzowicz: The Anita Peridotite: A Study of Subcontinental Lithospheric Mantle Emplaced Within the Anita Shear Zone, NW Fiordland (PhD, 2016)

Ben Eggers*: Petrology of the Separation Point Batholith, NW Nelson (BSc Hons, 2004)

Tim Elliot: Petrology and thermobarometry of high grade gneisses on Resolution Island, Fiordland (PGDipsSci, 2009)

Malcolm Gollan*: Presqu'lle Bréauté, southwest Fiordland: Plutonism, regional setting and igneous-hosted mineralization (MSc, 2006)

Alice Hodgkinson: Mantle xenoliths and metasomatism at Kattothryst, North Otago (BSc Hons, 2012)

Dushan Jugum: Tectono-magmatic evolution of the Dun Mountain Ophiolite Belt (PhD, 2009)

Jelte Keeman*: Igneous clasts in conglomerates of the Murihiku Terrane: Petrology, geochemistry and zircon geochronology (MSc, 2014)

Charlotte King*: Titanium-in-quartz geothermometry of the Alpine and Otago schists (BSc Hons, 2008)

Kate McKercher: Titanium-in-quartz geothermometry: tracing siliciclastic sediment across the South Island (MSc, 2012)

Nichole Moerhuis: Deposition, Metamorphism and Mineralization of the Onekaka Schist in northwest Nelson (MSc, 2015)

Sandra Panienka*: The origin of mafic enclaves in the granitoids at Kawakaputa Point, New Zealand (PGDipSci, 2003)

Charles Rands*: Granite-associated molybdenum mineralisation in northwest Nelson, New Zealand: Geology, geochronology, geochemistry, and tectonic setting (MSc, 2007)

Ewen Rodway*: Ti-in-quartz geothermometry and sediment provenance in the western Southland basins (MSc, 2012)

Matt Sagar*: Petrology, structure and geochronology of felsic dykes in the Paparoa Metamorphic Core Complex, Westland (BSc Hons, 2008); Petrology, structure and thermochronology of the Glenroy Complex, South Island (PhD, 2014)

James Scott: Petrology, structure and tectonic evolution of the Lake Manapouri region, eastern Fiordland (PhD, 2008)

Chloe Simpson*: Early Paleozoic rocks of southwest Fiordland: Petrology, geochemistry and detrital zircon geochronology (MSc, 2006)

GEOL 252 (Field Studies & New Zealand Geology) students examine Permian pillow breccia of the Brook Street Terrane at Howell Point, Southland.
GEOL 252 (Field Studies & New Zealand Geology) students examine Permian pillow breccia of the Brook Street Terrane at Howell Point, Southland.

Teaching

Docendo discimus - We learn by teaching

100-level

EAOS 111 Earth & Ocean Science (Semester 1)

GEOL 112 Dynamic Earth: A New Zealand Perspective (Semester 2)

200-level

GEOL 252 Field Studies & New Zealand Geology (Summer School)

GEOL 262 Geochemistry (Semester 2, even years)

GEOL 264 Igneous Petrology & Volcanology (Semester 2, even years)

300-level

GEOL 362 Geochemistry (Semester 2, even years)

GEOL 364 Igneous Petrology & Volcanology (Semester 2, even years)

400-level

GEOL 422 Geochemistry, Petrology & Volcanology

Recommended Reading

A short history of nearly everything bookcoverhabitable-planet
Radioactive Transformations bookcovercanticle

Current chart and data for atmospheric CO2

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Publications

Sagar, M. W., & Palin, J. M. (2013). Carboniferous U–Pb zircon age for S-type Karamea Suite Redjacket Granite, Paparoa Metamorphic Core Complex lower plate, northern Westland. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, 56(3), 109-120. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.788525

Cooper, A. F., Collins, A. K., Palin, J. M., & Spratt, J. (2015). Mineralogical evolution and REE mobility during crystallisation of ancylite-bearing ferrocarbonatite, Haast River, New Zealand. Lithos, 216, 324-337. doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2015.01.005

Scott, J. M., Hodgkinson, A., Palin, J. M., Waight, T. E., van der Meer, Q. H. A., & Cooper, A. F. (2014). Ancient melt depletion overprinted by young carbonatitic metasomatism in the New Zealand lithospheric mantle. Contributions to Mineralogy & Petrology, 167, 963. doi: 10.1007/s00410-014-0963-0

Jugum, D., Norris, R. J., & Palin, J. M. (2013). Late Jurassic detrital zircons from the Haast Schist and their implications for New Zealand terrane assembly and metamorphism. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, 56(4), 223-228. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.815639

Schipper, C. I., Jakobsson, S. P., White, J. D. L., Palin, J. M., & Bush-Marcinowski, T. (2015). The Surtsey Magma Series. Scientific Reports, 5, 11498. doi: 10.1038/srep11498

Journal - Research Article

Cooper, A. F., Collins, A. K., Palin, J. M., & Spratt, J. (2015). Mineralogical evolution and REE mobility during crystallisation of ancylite-bearing ferrocarbonatite, Haast River, New Zealand. Lithos, 216, 324-337. doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2015.01.005

Schipper, C. I., Jakobsson, S. P., White, J. D. L., Palin, J. M., & Bush-Marcinowski, T. (2015). The Surtsey Magma Series. Scientific Reports, 5, 11498. doi: 10.1038/srep11498

Hopkins, J. L., Millet, M.-A., Timm, C., Wilson, C. J. N., Leonard, G. S., Palin, J. M., & Neil, H. (2015). Tools and techniques for developing tephra stratigraphies in lake cores: A case study from the basaltic Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews, 123, 58-75. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.06.014

Scott, J. M., Hodgkinson, A., Palin, J. M., Waight, T. E., van der Meer, Q. H. A., & Cooper, A. F. (2014). Ancient melt depletion overprinted by young carbonatitic metasomatism in the New Zealand lithospheric mantle. Contributions to Mineralogy & Petrology, 167, 963. doi: 10.1007/s00410-014-0963-0

Scott, J. M., Lee, D. E., Fordyce, R. E., & Palin, J. M. (2014). A possible Late Oligocene–Early Miocene rocky shoreline on Otago Schist. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, 57(2), 185-194. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.814575

Mortimer, N., Gans, P. B., Palin, J. M., Herzer, R. H., Pelletier, B., & Monzier, M. (2014). Eocene and Oligocene basins and ridges of the Coral Sea-New Caledonia region: Tectonic link between Melanesia, Fiji, and Zealandia. Tectonics, 33(7), 1386-1407. doi: 10.1002/2014TC003598

Scott, J. M., Borcovsky, D. A., Palin, J. M., & Toy, V. G. (2014). Localisation of deformation in the thermal contrast at a granite batholith margin, New Zealand. Journal of Structural Geology, 64, 149-163. doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2013.07.013

Scott, J. M., Waight, T. E., van der Meer, Q. H. A., Palin, J. M., Cooper, A. F., & Münker, C. (2014). Metasomatized ancient lithospheric mantle beneath the young Zealandia microcontinent and its role in HIMU-like intraplate magmatism. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15(9), 3477-3501. doi: 10.1002/2014GC005300

Scott, J. M., Turnbull, I. M., Auer, A., & Palin, J. M. (2013). The sub-Antarctic Antipodes Volcano: A <0.5 Ma HIMU-like Surtseyan volcanic outpost on the edge of the Campbell Plateau, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, 56(3), 134-153. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.802246

Sagar, M. W., & Palin, J. M. (2013). Carboniferous U–Pb zircon age for S-type Karamea Suite Redjacket Granite, Paparoa Metamorphic Core Complex lower plate, northern Westland. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, 56(3), 109-120. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.788525

Jugum, D., Norris, R. J., & Palin, J. M. (2013). Late Jurassic detrital zircons from the Haast Schist and their implications for New Zealand terrane assembly and metamorphism. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics, 56(4), 223-228. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.815639

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Allibone, A., MacKenzie, D., Turnbull, R., Tulloch, A., Craw, D., & Palin, M. (2015). Targeting granite-related Mo, W, Ag, Au deposits on the margin of Paleozoic Gondwana in western New Zealand. Proceedings of the 48th Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) New Zealand Branch Annual Conference. (pp. 11-21). AusIMM. [Full Paper]

Wellnitz, K., Scott, J., Palin, J. M., Martin, C., & Craw, D. (2015). About the source of the fluids that made Otago rich and the rock orange: An isotopic approach. Proceedings of the 48th Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) New Zealand Branch Annual Conference. (pp. 507-514). AusIMM. [Full Paper]

Mortimer, N., Palin, J. M., & Wopereis, P. (2014). Determining sources of placer minerals using U-Pb ages of detrital zircons: Examples of auriferous quartz pebble conglomerates in Otago and Southland, New Zealand. Proceedings of the 47th Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) New Zealand Branch Annual Conference. (pp. 431-438). AusIMM. [Full Paper]

Wellnitz, A. K., Scott, J. M., Palin, J. M., Craw, D., Martin, C. E., Holk, G. J., & Wombacher, F. (2014). Carbonate veins and wall rock alteration associated to the Shotover gold deposits and the Alpine Dike Swarm: A comparative study. Proceedings of the 47th Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) New Zealand Branch Annual Conference. (pp. 607-616). AusIMM. [Full Paper]

Wellnitz, A. K., Scott, J. M., Craw, D., & Palin, J. M. (2013). Carbonate alteration zones related to Miocene gold deposits and lamprophyre intrusions in New Zealand's Southern Alps. Proceedings of the 46th Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) New Zealand Branch Annual Conference. (pp. 547-555). AusIMM. [Full Paper]

Farmer, L., Palin, M., Moore, J., Teagle, D. A. H., & Stirling, C. (2012). The geochemistry and isotopic signature of scheelite from the Macraes orogenic gold deposit. Proceedings of the 45th Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) New Zealand Branch Annual Conference. (pp. 145-153). Carlton, Australia: AusIMM. [Full Paper]

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Phillips, M. P. R., Palin, J. M., Sagar, M. W., & Angus, P. V. M. (2014). U-PB dating of Sams Creek (Northwest Nelson, New Zealand). In K. A. Holt (Ed.), Geoscience Society of New Zealand Miscellaneous Publication. 139A, (pp. 82-83). Takaka, New Zealand: GSNZ. [Abstract]

Martin, C. E., & Palin, M. (2012). Titanium in quartz: A case study of sediment provenance, South Island. Proceedings of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Annual Convention and Exhibition. Retrieved from http://archives.aapg.org/longbeach2012/

More publications...