Historical Records of Australian Science Historical Records of Australian Science Society
The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia, New Zealand and the southwest Pacific

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Bruce William Chappell 1936–2012

Ian Williams , Kenton Campbell


Bruce Chappell was one of the most distinguished geologists of his generation whose contributions to understanding the origins of granites are both insightful and profound. A pioneer in the application of X-ray fluorescence spectrography to the analysis of geological materials, his radical ideas about magma genesis, still the subject of vigorous debate, have dominated and largely determined the global directions of subsequent research on granites. His restite model, the recognition that most granite magmas move bodily away from their source regions as a mixture of melt and solid residual material, the progressive separation of which determines the magma composition, underlies his tenet that granites are images of their source. His consequent recognition, with Allan White, that there are two fundamentally different types of granite magma, I-type (derived from igneous sources) and S-type (derived from weathered sedimentary sources), each with its distinctive evolutionary path and associated mineralisation, continues to underpin research into granites worldwide, and the search for granite-related mineral deposits.

HR17012  Accepted 04 July 2017

© Australian Academy of Science 2017