VanTongeren, Jill A.

Position: Assistant Professor
Office: 343 Wright Geological Laboratory
Phone: (732) 445-5363


  • B.S., University of Michigan
  • M.A.,PhD Columbia University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory


  • Undergraduate:
  • Graduate:

Research Interests

  • Geochemical and Thermal Evolution of Large Magma Chambers: My research on the evolution of large magma chambers has focused primarily on the Upper Zone of the Bushveld Complex of South Africa.  The Bushveld Complex is the world’s largest layered mafic intrusion and is one of the world’s largest sources of precious metals.  The Upper Zone is thought to represent the final pulse of magma into the Bushveld, and is ideal for investigating the effects of heat loss and extreme differentiation of large magma bodies
  • Processes in the Lower Oceanic Crust: My research on the oceanic crust focuses primarily on the thermal evolution and cooling rates in the lower oceanic crust at spreading ridges. Specifically, I am interested in quantifying the variation in cooling rates with depth in lower crustal gabbros in the Oman ophiolite. This work is important for understanding the role of hydrothermal convection throughout the lower crust as well as mechanisms of lower crustal accretion at ridges.
  • Early Earth Tectonics: The construction of oceanic crust in the modern day can inform our understanding of how the crust might have formed in the Archean, when mantle potential temperatures were hotter, magma compositions were more magnesian, and oceanic crust was much thicker.  My work is focused on how changing magma composition influences the phase equilibria present within the crust.  The results have implications for the density of the Archean crust, the onset of plate tectonics, and possibly the creation of the ‘building blocks’ of continental crust.