Terry Seward

Terry Seward profile picture photograph

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


  • PhD in Geochemistry - University of Manchester, England (1969)
  • BSc in Geology and Chemistry - McMaster University, Canada (1965)

Research Interests

Aqueous solutions occur ubiquitously throughout the Earth’s crust over a wide range of temperature and pressure and play a fundamental role in magmatism, metamorphism, tectonics and the formation of ore deposits. They discharge extensively on the ocean floor along mid-ocean ridges and ocean spreading centres as well as subaerially.

Together with volcanism, hydrothermal/geothermal fluids comprise the important mechanism by which the deep Earth communicates chemically with the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere and biosphere and are responsible for the transport enormous amounts of material throughout the crust. In addition to chemical components, they transport heat to the Earth’s surface and are responsible for about 20% of the heat loss of our cooling planet.

These hydrothermal electrolyte solutions are also fundamentally implicated in origin-of-life chemistry, especially in the warm biosphere of seafloor (and sub-seafloor) geothermal discharge environments.

My research involves the study of the chemistry and geochemistry of aqueous fluids at elevated temperatures and pressures at conditions relevant to those found in the Earth’s crust. Of particular interest are metal complex and ion association equilibria, weak acid/base ionisation, ion hydration and water-cluster equilibria and biomolecule stability at extremes of temperature and pressure as well as volcanic gas chemistry and hydrothermal ore formation.


Publications 2004 - Current