Professor Andy Saunders
Department of Geology, University of Leicester
University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
E-mail: Telephone: +44 116 2523923

My research has recently focussed on large igneous provinces (continental flood basalt provinces and oceanic plateaus), using a range of elemental and isotopic tracers to show how the diverse variety of magma types is produced. I am now attempting to understand how large-scale Earth processes, such as flood-basalt volcanism may trigger rapid, catastrophic changes in climate and, ultimately, cause mass extinctions; and decipher the role of mantle plumes in the the surface expressions of LIP formation (uplift, volcanism, and degassing).

This research is currently focussed on the end-Permian Siberian Traps continental flood basalt province, and the environmental effects recorded at the Permo-Triassic boundary at Meishan, China, and elsewhere. I am also involved in studies of A-type granitoids from Transbaikalia, Russia; a recent volcanic system on the island of Savo, Solomon Islands; and the geochemistry of the Ninety East Ridge.

I teach courses in Igneous Petrology, Planetary Geology, and Environmental Geoscience.

Triassic basalt dyke intruding Permo-Triassic rhyolite,
Borisova Quarry, eastern Urals, Russia.

Links to Active or Recent Projects
The Extent and Environmental Impact of the end-Permian Siberian Trap Volcanism.
Mantle Plumes (Do they exist? Yes, of course.....).
Magmatism and Hydrothermal Activity on Savo Volcano, Solomon Islands.

A toast to a good day's work

Latest publications
Saunders, A.D., Jones, S.M., Morgan, L.A., Pierce, K.L., Widdowson, M. and Xu, Y. 2007. Regional uplift associated with continental large igneous provinces: the role of mantle plumes and the lithosphere. Chemical Geology, 241, 282-318. Download pdf.
Saunders, A.D and Reichow, M.K. 2009. The Siberian Traps and the End-Permian mass extinction: A critical review. Chinese Science Bulletin, 54, 20-37. Download pdf.
Reichow, M.K., Pringle, M.S.,  Al'Mukhamedov, A.I., Allen, M.B., Andreichev, V.L., Buslov, M.M., Davies, C.E., Fedoseev, G.S., Fitton, J.G., Inger, S., Medvedev, A.Y., Mitchell, C., Puchkov, V.N., Safonova, I.Y., Scott, R.A., Saunders, A.D., 2009. The timing and extent of the eruption of the Siberian Traps large igneous province: Implications for the end-Permian environmental crisis, Earth Planet. Sci. Letters 277,  9-20. Download pdf.
Mahoney, J.J., Saunders, A.D., Storey, M. and Randriamanantenasoa, A. 2008. Geochemistry of the Volcan de l’Androy basalt-rhyolite complex, Madagascar Cretaceous igneous province. Journal of Petrology, 49, 1069-1096. Download pdf.


More publications...