Emma Rhodes – Uppsala University
In July, VIPS team member Emma attended the very successful Granites II Summer School held in the idyllic coastal town of Roscoff in northern France (see https://granites.sciencesconf.org/). The theme of the week was Magmatic Differentiation, following the theme of magmatic transfers for the first edition held in 2017. As my supervisor put it, the speakers were the ‘crème de la crème’ of experts on Granites with big names such as Oliver Bachmann (ETH-Zurich), George Bergantz (Uo Washington), Othmar Muntener (Uo Lausanne), Jon Blundy (Uo Bristol), Marian Holness (Uo Cambridge), Wolfgang Maier (Cardiff University), Fidel Costa (Earth Observatory Singapore), Michel Pichavant (Uo Orleans), Jean-Francois Moyen (Uo Saint-Etienne), John Clemens (Uo Stelolenboschr) and Wendy Bohrson (Central Washington University).
(Left to right): Welcoming message to the summer school. The ‘marshmallow’ seats at the venue that many were caught snoozing off it after lunchtime wine. The view from the conference venue (Station Biologique de Roscoff).
Each morning and afternoon hosted two speakers who gave long talks followed by a lengthy discussion directed by questions from the audience. Typically, the speaker gave a historical background on the topic and led the participants through their work to their current thinking. Topics included evidence of magma generation and timescales from crustal cross-sections, crystallization differentiation, thermodynamics and mechanisms of heat transfer, microstructures in granites, layering in the Bushveld complex, compaction and mechanisms of melt extraction, open system degassing and magma differentiation in volcanic systems, supercooling and textures, evidence of mixing, the formation of andesites, and computational models. Notably we all got a jolly good talking to by Marian Holness about why we need to support our models with microstructures! (maybe directed partly at her peers…).
Often after a talk, the other speakers had lots of tough questions and feedback. John Clemens in particular got himself a reputation for always having a challenging comment for a speaker! On the Wednesday we had a break from talks and took a field trip to the Ploumanac’h magmatic complex. The day was sunny and warm and the outcrops were on picture-perfect coastal beaches. I can truthfully say that everyone enjoyed the day and around me at least, there was much discussion and sharing of ideas. Many also took to opportunity to go for a swim. Lastly, two small poster sessions were held so the students could display their work and promote discussions with peers and experts. Next time the organizers have promised to allow more time for the poster sessions! For all who missed the week, it was all filmed, and the footage will be available to participants and hopefully will be made public too. I, for one, will be reviewing some of the talks again.
Erwan Hallot giving us an overview in the field (left). The idyllicness of the coastline (right top). Handouts from Marian Holness (right bottom).
For many participants this was their first time in Europe, and I was one of many for whom it was their first time in France. The organisers sure made sure we all experienced the finest of French hospitality. All meals were provided for the participants at Hotel Gulf Stream, a 10 minute coastal walk from the conference venue. This included extremely fancy three course lunches and dinners with fine French wine paired to the meal! There was often a discussion at the tables on what the food was and how we should proceed about eating it. Mealtimes were one of my personal highlights from the trip as I was often sitting with new people sharing experiences and ideas. Had we all been left to disperse for meals I don’t believe different participants and speakers would have interacted as much as they did. The willingness of the speakers to interact with the participants was also fantastic.
The ‘starters’ at the banquet (left). Evidence of magma mingling captures by the rounded altered feldspar rims (right top). Mush-enclave interaction (right bottom).
To sum it up it was an amazing, inspiring week, and a huge credit has to be given to the organisers Laurent Arbaret, Fabrice Gaillard (University of Rennes) and Erwan Hallot (University of Orleans). And also a shout out to Labex Voltaire (http://labex-voltaire.prod.lamp.cnrs.fr/home-page/) who by the sounds of it hugely subsidized the week for participants.