Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Junior Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 6510c.magee




2.60Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





My research is broadly centred on understanding magma emplacement within the Earth's sub-surface. I am particularly interested in determining how magma migrates at shallow crustal levels, as well as in sedimentary basins, by analysing how different intrusion geometries and magma flow patterns relate to the host rock lithology and surrounding structures (e.g., faults and folds). To achieve this, my work involves the integration of a range of different techniques. For example, I have acquired an expertise in structural field techniques, quantitative petrology and rock magnetic analysis, with respect to identifying magma flow patterns in variable sheet intrusion forms. Currently a large part of my research involves the interpretation of igneous intrusions and volcanoes imaged in 3D seismic reflection data; an underutilised tool in the volcanological community. Seismic reflection data has particularly allowed me to analyse the spatial and temporal relationships between igneous activity and the development of sedimentary basins, leading to insights into: (i) the importance of lateral magma flow in sill-complexes; (ii) the interaction between faults, magmatic intrusions and hydrothermal fluids; (iii) intrusion-induced forced fold growth; and (iv) how the external morphology of a volcano is controlled by its internal architecture and underlying plumbing system. My current research involves the integration of field-, petrological-, borehole-, and seismic-based techniques to understand the role of magma and sedimentary basin formation during the final phase of continental break-up.


  • Junior Research Fellow - The role of magma in the break-up of continents (Imperial College) 2015-present
  • Post-doctorate Research Associate - Basins Research Group (Imperial College) 2011-2015.
  • PhD - Emplacement of sub-volcanic cone sheet intrusions (University of Birmingham)  2008-2011.
  • MSci - Geology (University of Birmingham)  2004-2008.

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Dr Nick Schofield (University of Aberdeen)

Dr Carl Stevenson (Univeristy of Birmingham)

Dr Brian O’Driscoll (Keele University)

Dr Mike Petronis (New Mexico Highlands Univeristy)

Dr Ken McDermott (ION)

Dr Simon Holford (Adelaide University)



Univeristy of Florence (June 2015) - Reconstructing the birth, life and death of ancient volcanoes using seismic reflection data

AGU Conference, San Francisco (December, 2014) - Constraining the role of magma before, during and after the break-up of continents using seismic reflection data

AGU Conference, San Francisco (December, 2013) - Magma rheology variation in sheet intrusions

AGU Conference, San Francisco (December, 2013) - Lithological controls on shallow-level magma emplacement

GSA Conference, Denver (October, 2013) - Accommodating sill-complex emplacement

University College Cork (February, 2013) - Lateral magma flow in the upper crust: towards a paradigm shift in understanding volcano evolution.

University of Bristol (June, 2012) - Visualising volcanic systems using seismic reflection data.

Univeristy of Aberdeen (September, 2010) - Testing sub-volcanic cone sheet emplacement: A dynamic interplay between local structure and regional magma transport.


Co-author on Dr Nick Schofields paper, "Sill morphology and comparison of brittle and non-brittle emplacement mechanisms" which won the Geological Society of Londons 'Young Author of the Year' award.

Highly commended for the Ramsey Medal by the Tectonic Studies Group (2013) for, "An alternative emplacement model for the classic Ardnamurchan cone sheet swarm, NW Scotland, involving lateral magma supply via regional dykes". (Award acknowledges the best structural geology papers emanating from PhDs).

Mike Coward Award for best postgraduate presentation, Tectonic Studies Group (TSG) conference, 2009

Shell Prize for best overall postgraduate, Tectonic Studies Group (TSG) conference, 2009


Committe Member, Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group

Member, Tectonic Studies Group

Member, EGU

Fellow, Geological Society of London

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Magee C, Muirhead JD, Karvelas A, et al., 2016, Lateral magma flow in mafic sill complexes, Geosphere, Vol:12, ISSN:1553-040X, Pages:809-841

Magee C, Maharaj SM, Wrona T, et al., 2015, Controls on the expression of igneous intrusions in seismic reflection data, Geosphere, Vol:11, ISSN:1553-040X, Pages:1024-1041

Magee C, Duffy OB, Purnell K, et al., 2016, Fault-controlled fluid flow inferred from hydrothermal vents imaged in 3D seismic reflection data, offshore NW Australia, Basin Research, Vol:28, ISSN:0950-091X, Pages:299-318

Magee C, McDermott KG, Stevenson CTE, et al., 2014, Influence of crystallised igneous intrusions on fault nucleation and reactivation during continental extension, Journal of Structural Geology, Vol:62, ISSN:0191-8141, Pages:183-193

Magee C, Hunt-Stewart E, Jackson CA-L, 2013, Volcano growth mechanisms and the role of sub-volcanic intrusions: Insights from 2D seismic reflection data, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:373, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:41-53

Magee C, Jackson CA-L, Schofield N, 2013, The influence of normal fault geometry on igneous sill emplacement and morphology, Geology, Vol:41, ISSN:0091-7613, Pages:407-410

Magee C, Jackson CA-L, Schofield N, 2014, Diachronous sub-volcanic intrusion along deep-water margins: insights from the Irish Rockall Basin, Basin Research, Vol:26, ISSN:0950-091X, Pages:85-105

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