Kristoffer Szilas

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Welcome to my website

My name is Kristoffer Szilas and I was born in 1982 in Denmark. Here you can find information about my research in geology and also about my hobby, mountain climbing.

In 2012 I earned my PhD degree in geology from Copenhagen University, Denmark. I then moved to the US, where I worked for two years in New York City as a post-doctoral researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. After that I conducted a two-year study at Stanford University in California. Now I'm back permanently in Denmark, where I'm currently a postdoc at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).

My area of research focuses on the petrology and geochemistry of rocks in Greenland from the Archaean Eon, ranging in age from 3.8 to 2.5 billion years old. These rocks show the earliest evidence of surface processes and life on Earth. Back then Earth was a very different planet from what we know now. The Sun was about 25% less bright, there was no oxygen in the atmosphere, the few small continents that had formed by then would have been completely submerged in iron-rich oceans, due to the hotter mantle and lower crust, which could not support the weight of large mountains. Earth was basically a cold water world covered by green oceans (due to reduced iron hydroxide aka. green rust).

For a few years I did research on what type of tectonic setting was likely responsible for the Archaean volcanic rocks found in south-west Greenland. The conclusion based on my peer-reviewed publications consistently point towards a subduction zone environment, similar to what is presently found in the circum-Pacific region. This means that despite the vastly different conditions of the early Earth, the shallow volcanic processes have not changed much over the course of the past several billions of years. However, the processing of such crust to form continents, has definitely changed due to the cooler mantle and crustal temperatures that exist today and therefore continent formation has essentially ceased.

My current research project is about the origins of so-called ultramafic rocks in south-west Greenland, which are somewhat enigmatic. These Archaean rocks are commonly disturbed by alteration to a degree that makes it difficult to determine if they represent magmas, cumulates or mantle rocks. I'm trying to use platinum-group element systematics to solve this problem, because these are relatively immobile and can yield diagnostic features that relate to the petrogenesis of such ultramafic rocks.

Most of my fieldwork has been carried out in Greenland, where I have spent around 9 months combined collecting samples for my different research projects. HERE I have added some of my favourite photos from Greenland. Additionally, I have also done field work in Norway, Finland, Nevada, Australia and Oman.

You can find my professional CV HERE.
I have research profiles at: LinkedIn, Google Scholar, ResearchGateScopus, Academia, Orcid, ResearcherID, Loop, Publons and Mendeley.

You can also get direct access to all of my publications and the associated data and appendices HERE.

If you happen to have any questions about my research, or if you wish to have a copy of one of my papers or any of the supporting data, you are very welcome to contact me at the following e-mail address:


 Photo: Fieldwork in Greenland