Geology & Geophysics AGU News

Druitt and Goldstein Receive 2018 Norman L. Bowen Award

Tim Druitt and Steven Goldstein will receive the 2018 Norman L. Bowen Award at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2018, to be held 10–14 December in Washington, D. C. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions to volcanology, geochemistry, or petrology.”


Citation for Tim Druitt

Tim Druitt, 2018 Norman L. Bowen Award recipient
Tim Druitt

Tim Druitt has made many fundamental contributions to petrology and volcanology. Tim displays breadth and originality and in the past several years has been a key figure in the revolution in understanding how rapidly large silicic magma chambers are assembled before eruption. His research is characterized by meticulous petrological observations, astute analysis, and interpretative originality. His contributions include masterly elucidation of the geological history of Santorini volcano; pioneering work on the geology of ignimbrites; novel laboratory and modeling studies of pyroclastic flow and debris avalanche dynamics; contributions to understanding caldera formation; insightful studies of Vulcanian explosion dynamics at Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat; and exceptionally high quality volcanological, petrological, and geochemical studies of the products of explosive caldera-forming eruptions, notably at Mount Mazama and Santorini.

Tim has had a recent burst of originality through his exhaustive petrological studies of Santorini rocks, focusing on the Minoan eruption. He has used diverse modern petrological methods to extract a compelling explanation of how large silicic magma bodies are assembled before major explosive eruptions. This work is a game changer showing that very large volumes (many cubic kilometers) of silicic magma are transferred into the upper crust in a remarkably short time (less than a few centuries). A series of recent papers with students and collaborators, starting with the already seminal 2012 Nature paper, have developed a new paradigm based on detailed geological characterization of the Minoan deposits, melt inclusion studies, use of major and trace element zoning patterns as a geochronometer to constrain crystal residence times, and experimental studies. This work demonstrates the rapid assembly of the Minoan chamber within a few centuries with the silicic melts originated from deeper sources in the middle crust. Last but not least, Tim is well known for his calm, collaborative, and collegial approach to science and to mentoring students.

—Steve Sparks, University of Bristol, Bristol, U.K.



I am truly honored to receive the Bowen Award. Thank you, members of AGU, and thank you, Steve, for your kind nomination. Several people had a big impact on me during my early career. As an undergraduate I was particularly influenced by the late Stuart Agrell, and then as a master’s student by Roger Powell. Steve Sparks took me on as a research student and taught me to view volcanic systems holistically, to try and always quantify, and to make research fun. Working with Fred Anderson in Chicago exposed me to melt inclusions and to Fred’s profound insight into magmatic processes. During my postdoctoral fellowship at Menlo Park, Charlie Bacon convinced me of the benefits of persistent, focused studies of single volcanic systems. Doing research first in the United Kingdom, then at the U.S. Geological Survey, immersed me in the two great schools of explosive volcanism. My own approach has been to try and address fundamental questions on magmatic systems while having a long-term laboratory volcano, Santorini, to guide me in those questions and to test hypotheses. I have found this dual approach to be both productive and intellectually satisfying. It has allowed me to constantly learn new techniques, to collaborate with great people with skills different from my own, and to advance incrementally in the understanding of my chosen volcanic system. Throughout, my wife, Mary, and daughter, Fabienne, have kept me sane in a wonderful family life and put up with my many absences. I have enjoyed working with a team of fantastic Ph.D. students, postdocs, and colleagues who have taught me a great deal. Being paid to do research with bright and motivated people who share my curiosity for the natural world is a remarkable thing. I gratefully accept this award on their behalf, as well as on my own.

—Tim Druitt, University of Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France


Citation for Steven Goldstein

Steven Goldstein, 2018 Norman L. Bowen Award recipient
Steven Goldstein

For what accomplishments has Steve Goldstein received the Bowen Award? The answers from the community would be diverse. For paleoceanographers, it would be because he pioneered Nd isotopes as an ocean circulation tracer. For those interested in continents, it would be his contributions to understanding continental growth. For mantle geochemists, it would be about the origin of mantle isotope heterogeneity and processes at ridges and convergent margins. Across these communities, the view would be that the honor was overdue, while knowledge of his contributions in other areas would be unlikely to be fully appreciated.

Steve’s breadth was evident as a graduate student, with his papers using Nd isotopes in river sediments to constrain continental growth, the “mantle plane” Nature cover that first identified clear systematics of mantle isotope components, and his use of authigenic minerals to constrain seawater isotopic compositions. He followed with a productive decade in the Max Planck geochemistry group, where he and Nick Arndt proposed continental delamination as a major factor in continental growth and mantle heterogeneity, did important work on ocean island basalts, and showed that enriched magmas form an important part of the continental crust. His Aleutians work was among the first to demonstrate multiple distinct components coming from the slab. Returning to Lamont, Steve showed great persistence in developing Nd isotopes as a definitive measure of circulation, showed how ocean ridge basalts are consistent with an origin of mantle heterogeneity by low-degree melt metasomatism, and co-led the Dead Sea Drilling Project. Through these diverse contributions, Steve has demonstrated creativity and rigor and acted as a generous collaborator and mentor. We would all become broader and better educated if we were to familiarize ourselves with Steve’s work beyond our own specialties. For his diverse and fundamental contributions across an amazing range of disciplines, Steve is an outstanding Bowen Award recipient.

—Charles Langmuir, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.



Thank you, Charlie; I am awed and humbled by your kind words. As a VGP member, I’ve always considered the Bowen Award to be the best of the AGU awards, reflecting recognition by our closest colleagues. And I’ve figured that the very reasons listed by Charlie would exclude me from ever receiving it. A great aspect of geochemistry is that it impacts virtually all the other Earth and space science (ESS) disciplines. As a result, VGP is the AGU section with the broadest ESS impact, whose universality should be valued. I was lucky that when I joined AGU, doing geochemistry meant joining VGP, while today the choice is more difficult. Geochemistry offers great opportunities, for fieldwork all over the world, to learn about and address a wide range of topics and to work with amazing scientists to make important contributions across disciplines. This keeps geochemistry exciting; there are always new things to learn about and do. And it’s remarkable that geochemistry works so well; it’s almost guaranteed that the right questions combined with the right analyses will lead to interesting results.

On the other hand, life and career carry no guarantees, and mine have been marked by serendipity; for example, entering Columbia by accident as a junior undergraduate and then discovering Lamont, which was then and is now an amazing, interdisciplinary place, where opportunities for exciting new scientific explorations constantly come at you. It was serendipitous to spend 11 years at the Max Planck Institute in Mainz, Germany, where Al Hofmann created a mecca for geochemistry, with amazing colleagues, and where the world’s greatest geochemists regularly visited. I’ve been privileged to have great mentors, colleagues, postdocs, and students, who have taught me more than I’ve taught them. And serendipity is having a great family, who above all deserve great thanks for putting up with me.

—Steven Goldstein, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y.

Citation: AGU (2018), Druitt and Goldstein receive 2018 Norman L. Bowen Award, Eos, 99, Published on 29 November 2018.
Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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