Research & Teaching

Research

Machine Learning in Geology

I aim to systematically investigate the use of ML techniques for the solution of problems that are relevant for geological applications. This line of research has been sparked in 2014 thanks to the funding grants “Challenge: Coupling macHine leArning, Leading anaLytical mEthods aNd larGe gEochemical datasets in tephra studies” (PI: Maurizio Petrelli, 2015/2017), “ENGAGE: machinE learNinG Applications for Geological problEms (PI: Maurizio Petrelli, 2019/2020), the Microsoft Machine Learning Award (PI: Maurizio Petrelli, 2015) provided by the University of Perugia and Microsoft Inc., respectively.

Selected Publications:

  1. Petrelli M., Caricchi L., Perugini, D. (2020). Machine Learning Thermo‐Barometry: Application to Clinopyroxene‐Bearing Magmas. JGR: Solid Earth. DOI: 10.1029/2020JB020130

  2. Caricchi L., Petrelli M., Bali E., Sheldrake T., Pioli L., Simpson G. (2020). A Data Driven Approach to Investigate the Chemical Variability of Clinopyroxenes From the 2014–2015 Holuhraun–Bárdarbunga Eruption (Iceland). Frontiers in Earth Science. DOI: 10.3389/feart.2020.00018

  3. Petrelli M., Bizzarri R., Morgavi D., Baldanza A., Perugini, D. (2017). Combining machine learning techniques, microanalyses and large geochemical datasets for tephrochronological studies in complex volcanic areas: New age constraints for the Pleistocene magmatism of central Italy. Quaternary Geochronology. DOI: 10.1016/j.quageo.2016.12.003

  4. Petrelli M., Perugini D. (2016). Solving petrological problems through machine learning: the study case of tectonic discrimination using geochemical and isotopic data. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. DOI: 10.1007/s00410-016-1292-2

Dynamics and Timescales of Volcanic Plumbing Systems

This line of research focuses on the petrological, volcanological and geochemical characterization of magmatic systems with particular emphasis on time-scales estimates of magmatic processes. To do that, I combine the use of numerical simulations, experimental petrology, and the study of natural samples.

Selected Publications:

  1. Petrelli M., Zellmer G.F., (in press). Rates and Timescales of Magma Transfer, Storage, Emplacement, and Eruption. In Dynamic Magma Evolution (Francesco Vetere Editor), Geophysical Monograph Series, 254, American Geophysical Union and Wiley.

  2. Petrelli M., El Omari K., Spina L., Le Guer, Y., La Spina G., Perugini D., 2018. Timescales of water accumulation in magmas and implications for short warning times of explosive eruptions. Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-02987-6

  3. Petrelli M., El Omari K., Le Guer Y., Perugini D., 2016. Effects of chaotic advection on the timescales of cooling and crystallization of magma bodies at mid crustal levels. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi: 10.1002/2015GC006109

  4. Petrelli, M., Perugini, D., Poli, G., 2011. Transition to chaos and implications for time-scales of magma hybridization during mixing processes in magma chambers. Lithos 125, 211-22

Development of the LA-ICP-MS Laboratory @UNIPG

In 2001, I started the development of the LA-ICP-MS laboratory at the Department of Geology, University of Perugia. Since 2002, I have successfully run the LA-ICP-MS with activities that include the maintenance of the instrumentations, the development of analytical protocols, the analysis of natural and experimental samples, and the support of external users. Currently, the LA-ICP-MS lab in Perugia hosts two LA-ICP-MS systems, and it is actively involved in many scientific projects.

Selected Publications:

  1. Petrelli M., Laeger K., Perugini D. (2016). High spatial resolution trace element determination of geological samples by laser ablation quadrupole plasma mass spectrometry: implications for glass analysis in volcanic products. Geosciences Journal. DOI: 10.1007/s12303-016-0007-z

  2. Alagna K.E., Petrelli M., Perugini D., Poli G. (2008). Micro‐analytical zircon and monazite U‐Pb isotope dating by laser ablation‐inductively coupled plasma‐quadrupole mass spectrometry. Geostandards and Geoanalytical research. DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2008.00866.x

  3. Petrelli M., Caricchi L., Ulmer P. (2007). Application of high spatial resolution laser ablation ICP‐MS to crystal‐melt trace element partition coefficient determination. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research. DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2007.00825.x

Teaching Activities

  • 2019 – now: University of Perugia, Master degree in Geological Sciences and Technologies. Teaching course in “Introduction to experimental petro-volcanology ”.

  • 2019 – now: University of Perugia, Master degree in Geological Sciences and Technologies. Teaching course in “Mathematical methods in Earth Sciences ”.

  • Feb 2020: Leibniz Universität Hannover Institut für Mineralogie, Short course in “Introduction to Python Programming in Earth Sciences”.


  • Dec 2018: Department of Petrology & Geochemistry, Eötvös University Budapest (ELTE), Short course in “Introduction to Python Programming in Earth Sciences”.

  • 2017 – 2019: University of Perugia, Master degree in Geological Sciences and Technologies. Teaching course in “Data analysis and data interpretation in geological sciences”.

  • 2015 – 2016: University of Perugia, Master degree in Geological Sciences and Technologies. Teaching course in “Igneous Petrology”.


Community Involvement

  • 2020 – Now: American Mineralogist, Associate Editor

  • 2015 – 2019: American Mineralogist, Guest Associate Editor for the special collection entitled “Dynamics of Magmatic Processes”.

  • Jun 2020: Organizer of a thematic session at the Goldschmidt 2020 in Virtual mode: "Constraining Petrological and Geochemical Variations in Magmas to Capture the Evolution of Volcanoes over Space and Time".

  • May 2020: Organizer of a thematic session at the EGU General Assembly in Virtual mode: "The Dynamics of Magmatic Plumbing System".

  • Apr 2019: Organizer of a thematic session at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna (Austria): "Rates, timescales and mechanisms of magmatic and volcanic processes: from mantle source to emplacement or eruption".

  • Dec 2018: Organizer of a thematic session at the AGU Fall Meeting in Washington DC (USA): "Origin and Timescales of Magmatic Systems: Discussing Ages, Rates, Transport, and Storage Processes of Magmas from the Source to Emplacement or Eruption".

  • Dec 2017: Organizer of a thematic session at the AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans (USA): "Processes of Magma Crystallization from Depth to Surface".

  • Nov 2016: Organizer of a thematic session at the Cities on Volcanoes 9 in Puerto Varas (Chile): "Mind the Gap! Techniques to overcome multi-scale issues in geological and geomorphic processes".

  • Jun 2016 - now: Organizer of the international workshop entitled “Application of Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to Earth Sciences" in Perugia.

  • Apr 2016: Organizer of a thematic session at the 2016 European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna (Austria): " Mind the Gap! Techniques to overcome multi-scale issues in geological and geomorphic processes".

  • Aug 2015: Organizer of a thematic session at the 2015 Goldschmidt conference in Prague (Czech Republic): "Dynamics of Magmatic Processes: From Magma Mixing to Crystal Residence Time".