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Profile

Dr Sam Hughes

Research

Research

My research focus is on understanding tectonomagmatic controls on granite pluton construction and the processes leading to the magmatic-hydrothermal transition.  My postgraduate research was titled "the tectonomagmatic evolution of the Land's End Granite".  This was a field-based project in west Cornwall, focusing on the well-exposed Land's End Granite pluton that is part of the Permian Cornubian Batholith.  My PhD supervisors were Dr Robin Shail (CSM) and Dr Ben Williamson (CSM).

The objective of the study was broken down in to three main aims:

  • Establish the nature and timing of deformation in the Land's End Granite aureole and compare this to deformation in areas unaffected by granite emplacement
  • Interpret the mechanisms for granite emplacement of their relationships to regional tectonic processes
  • Evaluate the role of regional tectonics on the magmatic-hydrothermal evolution of the pluton and the distribution of mineralisation

The outcomes of the study provide a model for the incremental emplacement of a laccolith-type pluton in a post-orogenic extensional tectonic setting.  It also demonstrates a clear link between tectonic controls on magmatic evolution and the distribution of economic mineral deposits.  Finally, it highlights the continued importance of fieldwork to supplement and provide context to desk- and lab-based data collection.

I am also involved in various projects including using tourmaline as an indicator for the magmatic-hydrothermal transition with Kristian Drivenes at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and looking at SW England tectonics and magmatism with Cornish Lithium. I was involved in organising and running the Eurogranites field meeting in 2014 hosted by CSM and taking place across the region.

Research Group

Ore Deposits and Critical Metals (SW England Research)

Research Interests

  • Magmatic evolution of granite systems, and the transition from magmatic to hydrothermal processes leading to the formation of magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits
  • Structural controls on pluton construction and the role of regional tectonics
  • Variscan and post-Variscan tectonic evolution of SW England
  • Devonian / Carboniferous basin development in SW England
  • Historical and contemporaneous mining in Cornwall and west Devon

Conferences and Publications

  • Hughes, S.P. (2019). The tectonomagmatic evolution of the Land's End Granite. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Exeter. [PDF]
  • Hughes, S.P. and Shail, R.K. (2016). The Northern Contact Zone of the Land’s End Granite – Late-Variscan Tectonic Evolution and Granite Emplacement.  (Presented at the Ussher Society Conference 2016 in Weymouth)
  • Rollinson, G., Le Boutillier, N.G., Simons, B., Yeomans, C. and Hughes, S.P. (2016).  Trevalganite and belowdanite - hydrothermal replacement of granites in Cornwall? Poster presentation presented at the Ussher Society Conference 2016 in Weymouth)
  • Eurogranites 2014 field excursion, SW England; July 2014 (attended and co-organised)
  • Shail, R. K., Scrivener, R. C., Simons, B. J., Müller, A., Andersen, J. C., Williamson, B. J., Halls, C. & Hughes, S. P. 2014a. Early Permian post-Variscan magmatism. In: Shail, R. K., Andersen, J. C., Simons, B. J. & Williamson, B. J. (eds) Eurogranites 2014: Granites and mineralisation of SW England Field Excursion Guidebook, 14-35
  • Müller, A., Hughes, S.P. and Halls, C. (2014).  Land’s End Granite.  In: Shail, R. K., Andersen, J. C., Simons, B. J. & Williamson, B. J. (eds) Eurogranites 2014: Granites and mineralisation of SW England Field Excursion Guidebook, 95-111
  • Sullivan, R. E., Shail, R. K. & Hughes, S. P. (2013).  The tectonics of early stage Cornubian Batholith construction and mineralisation as viewed from the NW margin of the Isles of Scilly pluton (abstract).  Geoscience in South-West England, 13, 246.
  • Hughes, S. P. & Williamson, B. J. (2013). The application of titanium-in-quartz geothermometry to the Land’s End Granite and associated mineralisation (abstract).  Geoscience in South-West England, 13, 244. (Presented at the Ussher Society Conference 2013 in St Ives)
  • Variscan 2012 conference in Sassari, Sardinia; May 2012 (attended only).
  • Hughes, S. P., Stickland, R. J., Shail, R. K., LeBoutillier, N. G., Alexander, A. C. & Thomas, M. (2009). The chronology and kinematics of late Palaeozoic deformation in the NW contact metamorphic aureole of the Land's End Granite. Geoscience in South-West England, 12, 140-152 [PDF]
  • Hughes, S.P., Stickland, R.J., Shail, R.K., (2008).The kinematics and chronology of D3 deformation and its relation to emplacement of the Land’s End Granite.  Poster presentation.  (Presented at the 46th Annual Ussher Society Conference)