Jason P. Morgan
The 2016 Augustus Love Medal is awarded to Jason P. Morgan for his wide-ranging contributions to geodynamics, in particular for furthering our understanding of mid-ocean ridges, subduction zones and plumes and their interactions with the asthenosphere.
Jason Phipps Morgan has made seminal contribution across the broad field of geodynamics and he has published an impressive number of landmark papers that continue to influence and inspire the geodynamical community today. Morgan has influenced a large group of geoscientists with whom he has generously collaborated and shared ideas with. His enthusiasm for science combined with this thorough and highly interdisciplinary knowledge makes him one of the leading geodynamicists. After finishing his PhD, in which he developed a quantitative model for mid-ocean ridge propagation that is still accepted (Phipps Morgan and Parmentier, JGR, 1985), he developed the first 3D models of melting and mantle flow beneath a mid-ocean ridge (Phipps Morgan and Forsyth, JGR, 1988; Parmentier and Phipps Morgan, Nature, 1990). These ideas were later extended to formulate and test the ‘gabbro glacier’ model of crustal accretion at fast-spreading ridges, which is still state-of-the-art, highly cited, and links melting, crustal production, presence of a ridge axis magma chamber and ridge axis topography (Phipps Morgan and Chen, Nature & JGR,1993). In a series of publications, Phipps Morgan explored the links between hotspot swells, plume melting and the formation of a plume-fed asthenosphere feeding the mid-ocean ridge systems. These geodynamic concepts provide a compelling explanation for the well-known chemical differences between ocean island and mid-ocean ridge basalts (Phipps Morgan et al., JGR, 1995; Phipps Morgan, 1997; Phipps Morgan and Morgan, EPSL, 1999; Morgan et al., 2007). During his time at GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany, he was a principal investigator of the collaborative research division SFB574: Fluids and Volatiles in Subduction Zones. His ideas resulted in a highly influential publication showing that plate bending can lead to serpentinisation at the trench outer rise (Ranero, Phipps Morgan et al., Nature, 2003). With Lars Rupke, he proposed dehydration to be at the origin of intermediate depth earthquakes and that liberated water leads to arc magmatism. He was also the supervisor of a PhD student that developed one of the first 3D models on diapirism in the mantle wedge (Hasenclever, Phipps Morgan et al., EPSL, 2011). Most recently, Phipps Morgan has returned to mid-ocean ridge research and contributed significantly to the first 3D model that simulates crustal scale hydrothermal flow at fast-spreading ridges accreting according to the still-accepted gabbro-glacier model (Hasenclever et al., Nature, 2014). A particularly notable aspect of his research is that he has trained and collaborated with a number of young scientists who have themselves gone on to successful academic careers. Morgan’s work is highly cited. He has nearly 20 papers in a broad range of subjects that have been cited more than 100 times. His enthusiasm for science combined with his very thorough knowledge of Earth sciences and at times unconventional ideas have repeatedly opened up new avenues of geodynamical research. Jason Phipps Morgan, the ‘adventurous’ scientist, is fully deserving of the Augustus Love Medal.