Dr Joaquín Cortés


  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, 2020
  • PhD Earth Sciences, University of Leeds, 2005
  • MSc Geology, University of Chile, 1996
  • Chartered Chilean Geologist (Chile), University of Chile, 1996
  • BSc Sciences, University of Chile, 1994

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I am broadly interested in the thermodynamic processes that lead to the
generation of igneous and metamorphic rocks, particularly on those
related with the evolution of magmas and their mineral phases, and how
to quantify the evolution in terms of composition, pressure and
temperature. I have developed and applied geothermobarometers (based on
thermodynamic equilibrium of mineral phases) to determine the pressure
and temperature evolution of ascending melts to understand magma
recharge and mixing events, which are key processes in eruption
triggering (e.g. Cortés et al. 2013; Cortés et al., 2006). As such, my
research has contributed to the broader understanding of eruptive
processes within a range of tectonic settings by providing information
critical to deciphering the state and conditions of the magmas as they
ascend through the crust (e.g. Cortés et al 2005; Cortés et al 2007).
Recently, I have also incorporated kinetic aspects particularly the
study of the crystal size distribution of mineral phases into
my modelling (e.g. Cortés et al. 2013). The volcanic and tectonic
environments within which I have worked include: high-potassium volcanic
systems (Stromboli, Aeolian Islands); high alumina, calc-alkaline
basaltic andesite persistently active systems in the Southern Andean
Volcanic Zone (Villarrica, Quetrupillán and Llaima volcanoes); rhyolite
volcanism associated with Caldera volcanism in the Central Andes (La
Pacana Caldera, Northern Chile); and recently monogenetic volcanism in
an intraplate setting (Lunar crater volcanic field, Nevada, USA).
Although I employ principally theoretical and analytical approaches in
my work, I also have a strong field-based background. Through my work
for the Chilean Geological and Mining Survey (SERNAGEOMIN), and
subsequently during NSF-supported fieldwork in both, Chile and Nevada, I
have gained experience mapping diverse volcanic terrains in remote
environments (e.g. Cortés et al. 2013; 2015; Valentine et al., 2017; and
SERNAGEOMIN Maps: Cortés 2000; Cortés et al., 2007; De la Cruz and
Cortés, 2012; Cortés 2012).

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Recent Publications

Simmons, I., MacGarvie, D., Cortés, J.A., Calder, E.S. 2020. Holocene volcanism
at the Quetrupillán Volcanic Complex (39 ◦ 30’ S, 71 ◦ 43’ W), Southern Chile. Volcanica 3(1)
115-137, doi: 10.30909/vol.03.01.115137

Chiwona, A.G., Cortés, J.A., Gaulton, R.G., Manning, D.A.C. 2020. Petrology
and geochemistry of selected nepheline syenites from Malawi and their potential as alternative
potash sources. Journal of African Earth Sciences 164 (2020) 103769.

Bain, A.A., Lamur, A., Kendrick, J.E., Lavallee, Y., Butler, I., Calder, E.S.,
Cortés, J.A., Cortés, G.P., 2019. Constraints on the porosity, permeability and porous
micro-structure of highly-crystalline andesitic magma during plug formation. Journal of Vol-
canology and Geothermal Research 379, 72-89 doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.05.001

Clarke, B., Calder, E.S., Dessalegn, F., Fontijn, K., Cortés, J.A., Naylor,
M., Butler, I., Hutchison, W., Yirgu, G., 2019. Fluidal pyroclasts reveal the inten-
sity of per-alkaline rhyolite pumice cone eruptions. Nature Communications 10:2010, doi:

Bain, A.A., Calder, E.S., Cortés, J.A., Cortés, G.P., Loughlin, S. 2019. Textural
and geochemical constraints on andesitic plug emplacement prior to the 2004- 2010 vulcanian
explosions at Galeras volcano, Colombia. Bulletin of Volcanology 81:1 doi: 10.1007/s00445-

Schonwalder-Angel, D., Cortés, J.A., Calder, E.S., 2018. The interplay of magma-
tism and tectonics: An example based on the satellite scoria cones at Llaima volcano, Chile.
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 367, 31-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.10.020

Ruth, D.C.S., Costa, F., Bouvet de Maisonneuve, C., Franco, L., Cortés, J.A.,
Calder, E.S. 2018. Melt inclusion residence times reveal the magma dynamics of open vent
volcanoes. Nature Communications 9:2657, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05086-8

Blake, S., Cortés, J.A., 2018. Forecasting deflation, intrusion and eruption at inflating
volcanoes. Earth Planetary Science Letters, 481, 246 -254.

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I am currently co-supervising one PhD student working in Quetrupillán
volcano in Chile (Ms. Isla Simmons) in collaboration with the University
of Edinburgh. I will begin supervising one PhD student at Edge Hill University,
working in the island of Mull, Scotland (Mr. Steven Walker), starting
in January 2021.


GEO1050 Dynamic Earth
GEO1052 Earth Materials
GEO2242 Geological Research Methods
GEO2243 Stratigraphy, Geological Maps and Structural Geology
GEO2244 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
GEO3240 Geological Mapping Project

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Valentine, G.A., Cortés, J.A., Rasoazanamparany, C., Widom, E., Smith,
E.I., Johnsen, R., Briner, J., Harp, A.G., Turrin, B. 2017. Lunar Crater
Volcanic Field (Reveille and Pancake Ranges, Basin and Range Province,
Nevada, USA. Geosphere, 13(2), 1-48, doi: 10.1130/GES01428.1

Ruth, D.C.S., Cottrell, E., Cortés, J.A., Kelley, K.A., Calder, E.S.
2016. From Passive Degassing to Violent Strombolian Eruption: the Case
of the 2008 Eruption of Llaima Volcano, Chile. Journal of Petrology,
57(9). 1833-1864. doi:10.1093/petrology/eqw063

Rasoazanamparany, C., Widom, E., Valentine, G.A., Smith, E.I., Cortés,
J.A., Kuentz, D., Johnsen, R., 2015. Origin of Chemical and Isotopic
Heterogeneity in a Mafic, Monogenetic Volcanic Field: A Case Study of
the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field, Nevada. Chemical Geology, 397,76-93.

Cortés, J.A., Smith, E., Valentine, G.A., Johnsen, R., Rasoazanamparany,
C.,Widom, E., Sas, M., Ruth, D. 2015. Intrinsic conditions of magmas
from the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field (Nevada). Implications for internal
plumbing and magma ascent. American Mineralogist, 100, 396-413.
doi:10.2138/am-2015-4812 (Selected as Notable Paper for February-March
2015 by the chief-editor Keith Putirka).

Tadini, A., Bonali, F.L., Corazzato, C., Cortés, J.A., Tibaldi, A.,
Valentine, G.A., 2014. Spatial distribution and structural analysis of
vents in the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field (Nevada, USA). Bulletin of
Volcanology, 76,877. doi: 10.1007/s00445-014-0877-8

Johnson, P., Valentine, G.A., Cortés, J.A., Tadini, A. 2014. Basaltic
tephra from monogenetic Marcath Volcano, Central Nevada. Journal of
Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 281, 27-33.

Pouget, S., Bursik, M., Cortés, J.A., Hayward, C.L. 2014. Use of
principal component analysis for identication of Rockland and Trego Hot
Springs tephras in the Hat Creek Graben, norheastern California, USA.
Quaternary Research, 81, 125-137. doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2013.10.012

Valentine, G.A., Cortés, J.A., 2013. Time and space variations in
magmatic and phreatomagmatic eruptive processes at Easy Chair (Lunar
Crater Volcanic Field, Nevada, USA. Bulletin of Volcanology, 75, 752.

Cortés, J.A., Palma, J.L. 2013. Geological Applications of
Self-Organizing Maps to Multidimensional Compositional Data. Pioneer
Journal of Advances in Applied Mathematics. 7(2): 7:49.

Chiasera, B., Cortés, J.A., 2011. Predictive Regions for Geochemical
Compositional Data of Volcanic Systems. Journal of Volcanology and
Geothermal Research, 207(3-4):83-92, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2011.07.009

Cortés, J.A., 2009. On the Harker Variation Diagrams; a Comment on “The
Statistical Analysis of Compositional Data. Where AreWe and Where
ShouldWe Be Heading” by Aitchison and Egozcue (2005). Mathematical
Geosciences, 41(7):817-828, doi: 10.1007/s11004-009-9222-8

Self, S., De Silva, S., Cortés, J.A., 2008. Enigmatic Clastogenic
Rhyolitic Volcanism: The Corral de Coquena Spatter Ring, North Chile,
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 177:812-821,

Cortés, J.A., Palma, J.L., Wilson, M., 2007. Deciphering Magma Mixing:
the Application of Cluster Analysis to the Mineral Chemistry of Crystal
Populations. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research,
165:163-188, doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2007.05.018

Cortés, J.A., Wilson, M., Condliffe, E., Francalanci, L. 2006. The
Occurrence of Forsterite and Highly Oxidising Conditions in Basaltic
Lavas from Stromboli Volcano. Italy. Journal of Petrology,
47(7):1345-1373, doi:10.1093/petrology/eg1012

Calder, E., Cortés, J.A., Palma, J.L., Luckett, R., 2005. Probabilistic
Analysis of Rockfall Frequencies during an Andesite Lava Dome Eruption:
The Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat. Geophysical Research Letters,
32:L16309, doi: 10.1029/2005GL023594

Cortés, J.A., Wilson, M., Condliffe, E., Francalanci, L. 2005. The
Evolution of the Magmatic System of Stromboli Volcano during the Vancori
Period (26{13.8 ky). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research,
147(1-2): 1-38

Arriagada, C., Roperch, P., Mpodozis, C., Dupont-Nivet, Q., Cobbold, P.,
Chauvim, C., Cortés, J.A., 2003. Paleogene Clockwise Rotations in the
Fore-Arc of Central Andes, Antofagasta Region, Northern Chile. Journal
of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 108 (B1):2032 JAN 21 2003

Aguirre, L., Cortés, J.A., Morata, D., Hervé, F., 1997. Low Grade
Metamorphism of Mesozoic and Cenozoic Sequences of Patagonia (43^o -46^o
), Chile. Revista Geológica de Chile. Vol. 24, N^o 2, 187-201

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