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Chris Gonzalez

Research Associate
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)

Contact details

Robert Street Building, Rm 104 
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

+618 6488 5807

Christopher Gonzalez joined the CET team, first as a Ph.D. student in 2012, and now as a Research Associate for the upcoming year (2016-2017). Originally from Nebraska in the USA, Chris graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with Bachelor of Science degrees in Geology and Geophysics (2011). Chris undertook Ph.D. studies at CET as part of the larger Arc Linkage project “Multiscale Dynamics of Ore Body Formation”.

His research includes numerical modeling of geodynamic processes including binary H2O-CO2 fluids. Using a thermomechanical numerical modeling code (I2VIS), new (de)carbonation routines and carbonated lithologies have been coded into I2VIS during his thesis to gain better understanding of the two most abundant recycled volatiles on Earth (H2O and CO2). This allows us to study first order dynamic effects, such as slab roll-back or sedimentary diapirism, and how they can lead to decarbonation, carbon recycling, and carbonate metasomatism in subduction zones and intracratonic rift settings.

As a Research Associate, the primary research direction is to attain a more quantitative assessment of melting and metasomatization processes ongoing during an orogenic event using the Ivrea–Verbano zone as a natural laboratory and model. Specifically, observations of sulfur–rich carbonate bearing 'pods' have been made that are hypothesized to be the direct consequence of carbonic fluid metasomatism produced by the adjacent subducting slab. Therefore, using the code Chris developed during his thesis, we will numerically model this natural laboratory to gain a better understanding of the geodynamic events that may have occurred during the emplacement of these sulfur-rich carbonate pods.

This research fits into the foundation project funded through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems (CCFS) entitled “Multi-scale four-dimensional genesis, transfer, and focus of fluids and metals.”

Primary research interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Thermodynamic modeling (Perple_X)
  • Numerical modeling of mantle processes (convection, subduction, melting, and rifting)
  • Fluid fluxes in the upper mantle (particular interest in the carbon cycle)


Gonzalez, C. M., and W. Gorczyk(2017), Decarbonation in an intracratonic setting: Insight from petrological-thermomechanical modeling, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 122, doi:10.1002/2017JB014051.

Gonzalez, C.M.; Gorczyk, W.; Gerya, T.V. Decarbonation of subducting slabs: Insight from petrological–thermomechanical modeling, Gondwana Research (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2015.07.011

Sanchez, David A.; Gonzalez, Christopher; Yuen, David A.; Wright, Grady B.; and Barnett, Gregory A.. (2013). "High Rayleigh Number Mantle Convection on GPU". GPU Solutions to Multi-scale Problems in Science and Engineering, 335-352. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16405-7_22