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Photo of Hernández Uribe, David

David Hernández Uribe, PhD

Assistant Professor

Subduction-zone processes, Metamorphic geology and tectonics, Phase equilibria

Pronouns: He/him/his/él


Building & Room:

2472 SES


I am a petrologist (a scientist who studies rocks) that uses the evidence recorded in igneous and metamorphic rocks to explore —and understand— the processes occurring at subduction zones. Specifically, my work centers on understanding the role of metamorphism in processes that impact our daily life, such as seismicity and magmatism.

Research Themes

Overall, my work focuses on understanding the evolution of the lithosphere at convergent margins by constraining the timescales and magnitudes of heat and mass transfer. For this, I apply different tools/approaches in petrology such as thermodynamic modeling, petrochronology, mineralogy and high-temperature geochemistry in tandem with fieldwork. Recent projects center on studying how metamorphism controls the densification, redox, and hydration state of the subducting lithosphere. Other projects focus on studying exhumed portions of metamorphosed lithosphere (field work in Guatemala, Baja California, central-south Mexico, southwestern USA) to evaluate its tectonothermal evolution through time.

Prospective Students

I am actively looking for undergraduate and graduate (Masters and Ph.D.) students as well as postdocs who are highly interested in understanding subduction-zone processes, metamorphic geology, phase equilibria and geochronology. Interested students can email me with a brief description of their interests and questions at

A key aspect of my research relies importantly on computational modeling (phase-equilibria and trace-element modeling). Therefore, there are several research opportunities and projects for students with physical disabilities as well as students who prefer computational research over fieldwork.


En Español

Soy un petrólogo interesado en comprender a través del estudio del registro de rocas ígneas y metamórficas los diversos procesos geoquímicos y geodinámicos que ocurren en las zonas de subducción.

Para entender estos procesos, ocupo diferentes técnicas como el modelado termodinámico, la petrocronología, mineralogía y la geoquímica. Algunos de mis proyectos recientes analizan como el metamorfismo controla la densificación, el estado redox y el estado de hidratación de la litosfera subducida. Otros proyectos se enfocan en usar las rocas metamórficas (Guatemala, Baja California, México central, suroeste de los Estados Unidos) para evaluar la evolución tectono-térmica de la litosfera subducida a través del tiempo.

Continuamente busco estudiantes de licenciatura (pregrado), además de estudiantes de maestría, doctorado, y postdocs para empezar en Fall 2023. Personas interesadas, favor de mandar un correo a

Gran parte de mi trabajo científico se basa en el modelado computacional (modelado de elementos traza y petrológico). Por lo tanto, existen diversas oportunidades para estudiantes con discapacidades así como para estudiantes sin el interés/oportunidad de realizar trabajo de campo.

Selected Publications

Complete list of publications on Google Scholar

Subduction-zone processes

  • Hernández-Uribe, D., Hernández-Montenegro, J. D., Cone., K. A., & Palin, R. M. (2020). Oceanic slab-top melting during subduction: implications for trace-element recycling and adakite petrogenesis. Geology, 48(3), 216–220.
  • Hernández-Uribe, D., Palin, R. M., Cone., K. A., & Cao, W. (2020). Petrological implications of seafloor hydrothermal alteration of subducted mid-ocean ridge basalt. Journal of Petrology, 61(9), 1-
  • Hernández-Uribe, D., & Palin, R. M. (2019). A revised petrological model for subducted oceanic crust: insights from phase equilibrium modelling. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 37, 745–768.

Metamorphic Petrology and Tectonics

  • Hernández-Uribe, D., & Palin, R. M. (2019). Catastrophic shear-removal of subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath the Colorado Plateau by the subducted Farallon slab. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 8153.
  • Hernández-Uribe, D., Gutiérrez-Aguilar, F., Mattinson, C. G., Palin, R. M., & Neill, O. K. (2019). A new record of deeper and colder subduction in the Acatlán complex, Mexico: Evidence from phase equilibrium modelling and Zr–in–rutile thermometry. Lithos, 324, 551–568.
  • Hernández-Uribe, D., Mattinson, C. G., & Zhang, J. X. (2018). Phase equilibrium modelling and implications for P–T determinations of medium‐temperature UHP eclogites, North Qaidam terrane, China. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 36(9), 1237–1261.

Phase equilibria

  • Hernández-Uribe, D., Spera F. J., Bohrson W. A. & Heinonen, J. S., (2022-in press), A comparative study of two phase equilibria modeling tools: MORB equilibrium states at variable pressure and H2O concentrations. American Mineralogist.
  • Hernández‐Uribe, D., & Gutiérrez‐Aguilar, F. (2021). The versatility of petrological modeling: thermobarometry of high‐pressure metabasites from the Renge and Sanbagawa belts and phase evolution during warm subduction at Nankai. Island Arc, e12406.


Ph.D., Geology, 2020, Colorado School of Mines (U.S.A)

M.S., Geological Sciences, 2017, Central Washington University (U.S.A.)

Licenciatura en Ingeniería Geológica (equivalent to B.S., Geological Engineering), 2015, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico)