Prof Nick Pearce

BSc in Geology with Geochemistry (University of Manchester) PhD (University of Durham)


Professor Nick Pearce graduated with a BSc in Geology with Geochemistry from the University of Manchester, and followed this with a PhD at the University of Durham on the petrogenesis of the mid Proterozoic alkaline Gardar dyke swarm from South Greenland. He worked in Aberystwyth as a temporary lecturer in geology in the late 1980s and early 1990s before a brief spell as Senior Geologist at the Countryside Council for Wales. He returned permanently to a lecturing post Aberystwyth in 1994 and has since perused research interests in the trace element analysis and correlation of tephra deposits. Nick has worked on the development of laser ablation ICP-MS methods for the analysis of tiny fragments of volcanic glass, and has applied this to studies of tephra from around the worls, including particularly the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Iceland, Santorini, Indonesia and most recently Chile. Nick also has research interests in metal mine remediation and environmental geochemistry.


Research Interests

Tephra studies in the eastern Mediterranean, New Zealand, Indonesia (Toba), Western USA (Yellowstone, Mt St Helens), Yukon/Alaska and Southern Chile. Development of laser ablation ICP-MS methods for tephra analysis. Mine drainage remediation. Environmental geochemistry.

Current PhD Students

  • Svenja Riedesel

Research Groups


Meara, RH, Thordarson, T, Pearce, N, Hayward, C & Larsen, G 2019, 'A catalogue of major and trace element data for Icelandic Holocene silicic tephra layers', Journal of Quaternary Science.
Pearce, N, Alloway, BV & Wickham, C 2019, 'Correlating weathered, microphenocryst-rich, intermediate tephra: An approach combining bulk and single shard analyses from the Lepué Tephra, Chile and Argentina', Quaternary International, vol. 500, pp. 71-82.
Westgate, JA, Woldegabriel, G, Halls, HC, Bray, CJ, Barendregt, RW, Pearce, N, Sarna-Wojcicki, AM, Gorton, MP, Kelley, RE & Schultz-Fellenz, E 2019, 'Quaternary tephra from the Valles caldera in the volcanic field o the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico identified in western Canada', Quaternary Research, vol. 91, no. 2, pp. 813-828.
Pearce, N, Westgate, JA, Gualda, GAR, Gatti, E & Muhammad, RF 2019, 'Tephra glass chemistry provides storage and discharge details of five magma reservoirs which fed the 75 ka Youngest Toba Tuff eruption, northern Sumatra', Journal of Quaternary Science.
Geoffroy, CA, Alloway, BV, Amigo, À, Parada, MA, Gutierrez, F, Castruccio, A, Pearce, N, Morgado, E & Moreno, PI 2018, 'A widespread compositionally bimodal tephra sourced from Volcán Melimoyu (44°S, Northern Patagonian Andes): Insights into magmatic reservoir processes and opportunities for regional correlation', Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 200, pp. 141-159.
More publications on the Research Portal