Dr Michelle Harris

Dr Michelle Harris

Lecturer in Earth Sciences

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


Lecturer in Earth Sciences

Marine Institute Strategy Board Member


Ph.D. in Geochemistry (2011) University of Southampton, "The accretion of lower oceanic crust"
M.Geol. in Geological Sciences (International) (2006) University of Leeds

Previous Roles:
Teaching Fellow (2014-2015) University of Southampton, Ocean and Earth Science
Post Doctoral Researcher (2011-2014) University of Southampton, Ocean and Earth Science. NERC funded project "Ocean basement calcium carbonate veins as recorders of past ocean chemistry and the global carbon cycle"

2013 Deans Prize for Early Career Researchers, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton
2008 InterRidge Student Fellowship

Professional membership

American Geophysical Union

European Association of Geochemistry

Teaching interests

GEOL 1001 The Dynamic Earth

GEOL 1003 Geosystems
GEOL1006 Fieldwork and Key Skills
GEOL 2011 Petrology and Volcanology
GEOL 2006 Geological Fieldwork
GEOL 3001 Geological Mapping Research Project and Professional Skills
GEOL 3007 Igneous and Volcanic Processes
GEOL 5004 MGeol Project
MAR 514 Marine Science

Research interests

Research Interests:

My research interests relate to understanding and quantifying the role of hydrothermal circulation through the ocean crust, a fundamental Earth process that is responsible for the transfer of heat from the ocean crust and modifies the chemistry of the ocean crust and the oceans. I use a combination of petrology and geochemistry on samples recovered from ocean crust through scientific ocean drilling to address key questions about the timing, distribution and magnitude of hydrothermal fluid fluxes in the upper and lower ocean crust. I also use calcium carbonate veins precipitated from low temperature hydrothermal fluids as a past record of ocean chemistry. I am now expanding this research to the Semail ophiolite in Oman as part of the ICDP Oman Drilling Project science party. 

Geochemistry techniques:
  • Whole rock and mineral trace elements by ICP-MS
  • Whole rock major elements by XRF
  • Isotope geochemistry (Sr, O)
  • Laser-ablation U/Pb geochronology
  • Electron microprobe

Research Cruises:

IODP Expedition 357 Atlantis Massif Seafloor Processes: Serpentinization and Life, Metamorphic Petrologist
IODP Expedition 335 Superfast Spreading Rate Crust 4, Metamorphic Petrologist
IODP Expedition 327 Juan de Fuca Ridge Flank Hydrogeology, Petrologist (Group Leader)
JC21 Hess Deep Rift
JC7 Mid Atlantic Ridge 13N Oceanic Core Complexes

Research Projects:
  • I have been involved in establishing the onsite core protocols and was onsite in Oman for a total of 6 weeks during Phase 1 drilling operations. 
  • I had multiple roles during the core characterisation program for Phase 1 cores that took place onboard DV Chikyu July-September 2017. 
    • Co-chief scientist Hole GT3A Sheeted/dike gabbro transition
    • Alteration team leader Holes GT1A Hydrothermal fault zones in layered gabbros and Hole GT2A foliated-layered gabbro transition 
    • Staff Scientist Hole BT1B Listvenite-Basal Thrust.  

Ph.D. supervision:
Ms Marta Grabowska "Deciphering the signal of fluid/rock reaction in the lower oceanic crust: The Oman ophiolite analogue"

Dr. Jennifer Rutter "Characterising low temperature alteration and oxidation of the upper oceanic crust", University of Southampton, completed 2015
Ms Louise Koornneef "The sheeted dyke-gabbro transition zone: the key to unravelling the paleomagnetic record of the Oman ophiolite" Plymouth University

Key publications are highlighted

Fruh-Green G, Orcutt B, Roumejon S, Lilley M, Morono Y, Cotterill C, Green S, Escartin J, John B & McCaig A 2018 'Magmatism, serpentinization and life: Insights through drilling the Atlantis Massif (IODP Expedition 357)' Lithos 323, 137-155 , DOI PEARL
Rouméjon S, Früh-Green GL & Orcutt BN 2018 'Alteration Heterogeneities in Peridotites Exhumed on the Southern Wall of the Atlantis Massif (IODP Expedition 357)' Journal of Petrology 59, (7) 1329-1358 , DOI
Harris M, Coggon RM, Wood M, Smith-Duque CE, Henstock TJ & Teagle DAH 2017 'Hydrothermal cooling of the ocean crust: Insights from ODP Hole 1256D' Earth and Planetary Science Letters 462, 110-121 , DOI PEARL
Coggon R, Teagle D, Harris M, Davidson G, Alt J & Brewer T 2016 'Hydrothermal contributions to global biogeochemical cycles: Insights from the Macquarie Island ophiolite' Lithos 264, 329-347 , DOI PEARL
Patten C, Pitcairn IK, Teagle DA & Harris M 2016 'Sulphide mineral evolution and metal mobility during alteration of the oceanic crust: Insights from ODP Hole 1256D' Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 193, 132-159 , DOI PEARL
Patten CGC, Pitcairn IK, Teagle DAH & Harris M 2015 'Mobility of Au and related elements during the hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic crust: implications for the sources of metals in VMS deposits' Mineralium Deposita 51, (2) 179-200 , DOI
Harris M, Coggon RM, Smith-Duque CE, Cooper MJ, Milton JA & Teagle DAH 2015 'Channelling of hydrothermal fluids during the accretion and evolution of the upper oceanic crust: Sr isotope evidence from ODP Hole 1256D' Earth and Planetary Science Letters 416, 56-66 , DOI PEARL
Gao Y, Vils F, Cooper KM, Banerjee N, Harris M, Hoefs J, Teagle DAH, Casey JF, Elliott T & Laverne C 2012 'Downhole variation of lithium and oxygen isotopic compositions of oceanic crust at East Pacific Rise, ODP Site 1256' Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 13, (10) n/a-n/a , DOI
McCaig AM & Harris M 2012 'Hydrothermal circulation and the dike-gabbro transition in the detachment mode of slow seafloor spreading' Geology 40, (4) 367-370 , DOI
Teagle DAH, Ildefonse B, Blum P, Morris A & IODP Expedition 335 Scientific Party 2011 'IODP Expedition 335: Deep sampling in ODP Hole 1256D' Scientific Drilling 13, 28-34 , DOI
Alt JC, Laverne C, Coggon RM, Teagle DAH, Banerjee NR, Morgan S, Smith-Duque CE, Harris M & Galli L 2010 'Subsurface structure of a submarine hydrothermal system in ocean crust formed at the East Pacific Rise, ODP/IODP Site 1256' Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 11, (10) n/a-n/a , DOI
MacLeod CJ, Searle RC, Murton BJ, Casey JF, Mallows C, Unsworth SC, Achenbach KL & Harris M 2009 'Life cycle of oceanic core complexes' Earth and Planetary Science Letters 287, (3-4) 333-344 , DOI
Conference Papers
Kelemen PB, Aines R, Bennett E, Benson SM, Carter E, Coggon JA, de Obeso JC, Evans O, Gadikota G & Dipple GM 2018 'In situ carbon mineralization in ultramafic rocks: Natural processes and possible engineered methods' 1-/-0/1900 1-/-0/1900 Elsevier BV 92-102 , DOI
Patten CGC, Pitcairn IK, Teagle DAH & Harris M 2015 'Mobility of Au and Related Elements during the Hydrothermal Alteration of the Oceanic Crust: Implications for the Sources of Metals in VMS Deposits' 1-/-0/1900 1-/-0/1900 2075-2078