Thermodynamics of Planetary Processes

Geography-Geology Building, Hydrothermal Lab

Current Research Interests

Understanding deep planetary process through the application of equilibrium and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.

 Mathematical modelling of exhaustion of non-renewable natural resources. 

  • Ph.D., University of Oregon, Geological Sciences, 1990
  • Licenciado, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Geological Sciences, 1975
Research Areas:
Research Interests:

Current Research Interests

In the past, my research focused on the petrology of the continental crust. Work by my research group showed that few granitoid rocks in nature are pure anatectic melts - peraluminous leucogranites are the only ones that fit this description. Most other granitoid rocks represent hybrid magmas, that contain variable but always important contributions of mantle material. We have shown experimentally that formation of hybrid granitic magmas is accompanied by formation of hybrid mafic cumulates (gabbronorites, norites, garnet pyroxenites) that resemble those that are thought to make up much of the lower continental crust. We have also shown that pressure and influx of aqueous fluids control the composition of granitic melts on an equal footing with source composition, showing that the assumption that “granites image their sources” is generally not warranted. 

Other past research, in collaboration with Mike Roden, focused on the use of accessory mineral phases to infer volatile reservoirs and pathways in the terrestrial planets. The focus has been on using phosphate assemblages (apatite ± merrillite) to determine halogen and water fugacities in the mantles of Mars, Earth and the Moon. Perhaps our most important finding was to show that the Martian mantle must be drier than the terrestrial mantle (Patiño Douce et al., 2011).

Other Academic Interests

Over many years of teaching Earth Sciences I have become aware of (and frustrated by) the widespread perception, among most geology students as well as many earth sciences professionals at all levels, that ours is a science that sits in splendid isolation of physics and chemistry. Because I feel very strongly that this is not the case, I have become interested in reshaping education in the Earth and Planetary Sciences by focusing on physics and chemistry first, and teaching students at all levels to think of planetary processes as nothing more than specific examples of physico-chemical processes. My textbook Thermodynamics of the Earth and Planets, published by Cambridge University Press in 2011, shows how to accomplish this.

Selected Publications:
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 2011. Thermodynamics of the Earth and Planets. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge & New York, 724 pp.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 2015.  Metallic Mineral Resources in the Twenty First Century. I. Historical Extraction Trends and Expected Demand. Natural Resources Research, DOI: 10.1007/s11053-015-9266-z
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 2015.  Metallic Mineral Resources in the Twenty First Century. II. Constraints on future supply. Natural Resources Research, DOI: 10.1007/s11053-015-9265-0
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 2015. Response to ‘‘Comment on Metallic Mineral Resources in the Twenty-First Century: I. Historical Extraction Trends and Expected Demand’’ by D. A. Singer and W. D. Menzie. Natural Resources Research, DOI: 10.1007/s11053-015-9273-0
  • Sarafian, A.R., Roden, M.F. and Patiño Douce, A.E. , 2013. The volatile content of Vesta: Clues from apatite in eucrites. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 48, 2135-2154.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., Roden, M.F., Chaumba, J., Fleisher, C., and Yogodzinski, G., 2011. Compositional variability of terrestrial mantle apatites, thermodynamic modeling of apatite volatile contents, and the halogen and water budgets of planetary mantles. Chemical Geology, 288, 14-31.
  • Zaffarana, C.,  Geuna, S.,  Poma,  S. and Patiño Douce, A.E., 2011. Reassessment of the volume of the Las Aguilas mafic-ultramafic intrusives, an Luis, Argentina, based on an alternative geophysical model. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 32 , 183-195.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E. and Roden, M., 2006. Apatite as a probe of halogen and water fugacities in the terrestrial planets. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 70, 3173-3196.
  • Roden, M., Patiño Douce, A. E.,  Jagoutz, E. and Laz’ko, E., 2006. High pressure petrogenesis of Mg-rich garnet pyroxenites from Mir Kimberlite, Siberia. Lithos, 90, 77-91.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E., 2005. Vapor-absent melting of tonalite at 15 - 32 kbar. Journal of Petrology, 46, 275-290.
  • Hacker, B., Luffi. P., Lutkov, V., Minaev. V., Ratschbacher, L., Plank, T., Ducea, M., Patiño Douce, A. E., McWilliams, M. and Metcalf, J., 2005.  Near-Ultrahigh Pressure Processing of Continental Crust: Miocene Crustal Xenoliths from the Pamir. Journal of Petrology, 46, 1661-1687.
  • Skjerlie, K.P . and Patiño Douce, A.E., 2002. The fluid-absent partial melting of a zoisite-bearing quartz eclogite from 1.0 to 3.2 GPa; implications for melting in thickened continental crust and for subduction zone processes. Journal of Petrology 43, 291-314.
  • Otamendi, J.E., de la Rosa, J., Patiño Douce, A.E. and Castro, A, 2002. Rayleigh Fractionation of Heavy Rare Earths and Yttrium During Metamorphic Garnet Growth. Geology 30, 159-162.
  • Otamendi, J.E., and Patiño Douce, A.E., 2001. Partial Melting of Aluminous Metagreywackes in the Northern Sierra de Comechingones, Central Argentina. Journal of Petrology 42, 1751-1772.
  • Castro, A., Corretgé, L.G., El-Biad, M., El-Hmidi, H., Fernández, C., and Patiño Douce, A.E., 2000. Experimental Constraints on Hercynian Anatexis, Iberian massif, Spain. Journal of Petrology  41, 1471-1488.
  • Hilyard, M., Nielsen, R.L., Beard, J.S., Patiño Douce, AE. and Blencoe, J., 2000. Experimental determination of the partitioning behavior of rare earth and high field strength elements between pargasitic amphibole and natural silicate melts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 64, 1103-1120.
  • 1999
  • Castro, A., Patiño Douce, A.E., Corretgé, L.G., de la Rosa, J., El-Biad, M., and El-Hmidi, H., 1999. Origin of peraluminous granites and granodiorites, Iberian Massif, Spain. An experimental test of granite petrogenesis.  Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 135, 255-276.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 1999. What do experiments tell us about the relative contributions of crust and mantle to the origin of granitic magmas? In: Understanding granites. Integrating New and Classical Techniques, A. Castro, C. Fernandez and J.L. Vigneresse, eds. Geological Society, London, Special Publication 158, 55-75.
  • Otamendi, J.E., Patiño Douce, A.E., and Demichelis, A.H., 1999. Amphibolite to granulite transition in aluminous greywackes from the Sierra de Comechingones, Córdoba, Argentina. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 17, 415-434.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., and Harris, N., 1998. Experimental constraints on Himalayan Anatexis. Journal of Petrology, 39, 689-710. 
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., and McCarthy, T.C., 1998. Melting of crustal rocks during continental collision and subduction. In: When continents collide: Geodynamics and Geochemistry of Ultra-high Pressure Rocks, edited by B.R. Hacker and J.G. Liou, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, p. 27-55.
  • McCarthy, T.C. and Patiño Douce, A.E., 1998. Empirical calibration of the silica - Ca-Tschermak’s - anorthite (SCAn) geobarometer. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 16, 675-686.
  • Otamendi, J.E., Nullo, F.E., Patiño Douce, A.E., and Fagiano, M., 1998. Geology, mineralogy and geochemistry of syn-orogenic anatectic granites from the Achiras Complex, Córdoba, Argentina: some petrogenetic and geodynamic implications. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 11, 407-423.
  • Otamendi, J.E., Fagiano, M.R., Nullo, F.E. and Patiño Douce, A.E., 1998. Petrología, geoquímica y metamorfismo del Complejo Achiras, sur de la Sierra de Comechingones, Argentina. Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina, 53, 27-40.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 1998. Interactions among source composition and intensive variables in the origin of granitic magmas. In: Problems of genesis of magmatic and metamorphic rocks, S. I. Grigoriev, editor, p. 24-27. Proceedings of the International Conference dedicated to the 100th. anniversary of the birth of Nikolai Yeliseev, St. Petersburg State University, Russia.
  • McCarthy, T.C. and Patiño Douce, A.E., 1997. Experimental evidence for high-temperature felsic melts formed during basaltic intrusion of the deep crust. Geology, 25, 463-466.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 1997. Generation of metaluminous A-type granites by low-pressure melting of calc-alkaline granitoids. Geology, 25, 743-746.
  • Dooley, D.F. and Patiño Douce, A.E., 1996. Fluid-absent melting of F-rich phlogopite + rutile + quartz. American Mineralogist, 81, 202-212.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 1996. Effects of pressure and H2O content on the compositions of primary crustal melts. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Science, 87, 11-21.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E. and Beard, J.S., 1996. Effects of P, f(O2) and Mg/Fe ratio on dehydration-melting of model metagreywackes. Journal of Petrology, 37, 999-1024.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E. and Beard, J.S., 1995. Dehydration-melting of biotite gneiss and quartz amphibolite from 3 to 15 kbar. Journal of Petrology, 36, 707-738.
  • Patiño Douce, A.E., 1995. Experimental generation of hybrid silicic melts by reaction of high-Al basalt with metamorphic rocks. Journal of Geophysical Research, 100, 15,623-15,639.
  • Skjerlie, K.P. and Patiño Douce, A.E., 1995. Anatexis of interlayered amphibolite and pelite: effect of diffusion of major components on phase relations and melt fraction. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 122, 62-78.
  • Patiño Douce, M.L.G.; Patiño Douce, A. E., Qayyum, M. and Nielsen, R., 1994. New set of low concentration standards for La, Ce, Sm, Yb, Lu, Y, Sc, V, Nb and Ta in silicates. Geostandards Newsletter, 18: 195-198.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E. and Beard, J.S., 1994. H2O loss from hydrous melts during fluid-absent piston-cylinder experiments. American Mineralogist 79, 585-588.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E., 1994. Melt generation in the continental crust: answered and unanswered questions. Mineralogical Magazine 58A, 692-693.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E., 1993. Titanium substitution in biotite: an empirical model with applications to thermometry, O2 and H2O barometries, and consequences for biotite stability. Chemical Geology 108, 133-162.
  • Skjerlie, K. P., Patiño Douce, A. E. and Johnston, A. D., 1993. Fluid-absent melting of a layered crustal protolith: implications for the generation of anatectic granites. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 114, 365-378.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E., Johnston, A. D. and Rice, J.M., 1993. Octahedral excess mixing properties in biotite: a working model with applications to geobarometry and geothermometry. American Mineralogist 78, 113-131.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E., 1992. Calculated relationships between activity of alumina and phase assemblages of silica-saturated igneous rocks. Petrogenetic implications of magmatic cordierite, garnet and aluminosilicate. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 52, 43-63.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E. and Johnston, A. D., 1991. Phase equilibria and melt productivity in the pelite system: implications for the origin of peraluminous granitoids and aluminous granulites. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 107, 202-218.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E., Johnston, A.D. and Humphreys, E.D., 1990. Closed system anatexis in the Cordilleran Interior: the importance of initial lithologic structure. EOS, 71, 298-300.
  • Patiño Douce, A. E., Humphreys, E.D. and Johnston, A.D., 1990. Anatexis and metamorphism in tectonically thickened continental crust exemplified by the Sevier hinterland, western North America. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 97, 290-315.
  • Patiño, M.G. and Patiño Douce, A. E., 1987. Petrología y petrogénesis del batolito de Achala, provincia de Córdoba, a la luz de la evidencia de campo. Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina, 42, 201-205.