Patrick Sugden

Patrick Sugden


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.


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.


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



Demonstator for second year Mineralogy, petrology and Hard rock field classes

Research interests

My interests span isotope geochemistry and igneous petrogenesis. My research aims to look at how magmas form in continental collision zones, many millions of years after subduction has ceased to supply slab fluids to the mantle source. This involves investigating the geodynamics of magma formation in a collision zone, along with the investigating the fate of slab components following "the death of a subduction zone". I am also interested in magma storage and evolution processes in monogenetic volcanic fields over time, in the context of waning collision-related volcanism.

My work has included collaborations with scientists at SUERC, Glasgow (; and CNR Pisa ( for Ar-Ar dating and B isotope analysis respectively


  • MEarthSci (Oxford University)

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics
  • Volcanology
  • Rocks, Melts and Fluids