Tatsumi Receives 2012 N. L. Bowen Award

Yoshiyuki Tatsumi received the 2012 N. L. Bowen Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions to volcanology, geochemistry, or petrology.”


TatsumiIt is a pleasure to present to you the 2012 Bowen Award winner, Professor Yoshiyuki Tatsumi, of Kobe University. Yoshi is well-known because of his work over the last 30 years on magma genesis and solid Earth geochemistry. His approximately 115 papers have advanced our understanding of the sources of magma in arcs, ocean islands, and continental interiors; the role of fluids in the transfer of elements from subducted slabs into the mantle wedge; the differentiation of basalts; and how juvenile crust develops its seismic and chemical stratification through time. His work combines experimental petrology with trace element and isotope geochemistry.

Yoshi’s rise as a petrologist began as a student of Professor Ishizaka at Kyoto University, studying the geology and petrography of Setouchi high magnesian andesites, then high-P experiments in Ike Kushiro’s piston cylinder lab. He later spent 1 year each in Manchester and Hobart before working for 16 years at Kyoto University. As program director at the Institute for Frontier Research on Earth Evolution, he initiated interdisciplinary efforts in petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, and ocean exploration. He also served in many senior positions within the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. Largely because of his leadership, 6 months of drilling related to volcanology, geochemistry, and petrology (VGP) objectives are now scheduled for the JOIDES Resolution in 2014. If we do use Chikyu to drill 5.5 kilometers into the middle crust of the Izu arc, it will be because of Yoshi’s dream and initiative.

In addition to being an excellent scientist, Yoshi is also a gracious host, an excellent cook, and a talented pianist. He was a star basketball player both in high school and at the Kyoto University. He has also played the important role of television scientist, teaching the public about our science. We hope he continues for many more years as a leader in our field.

—ROBERT J. STERN, University of Texas, Dallas


Thank you, Bob, for your kind words. I am most grateful to everyone involved in the nomination and evaluation processes, the VGP section, and AGU for affording me this much-appreciated honor, the 2012 Bowen Award. Also, I would like to thank my seniors and many colleagues for sharing the fun of decoding how magmas form in the Earth’s interior.

The first target in my scientific career was unusually magnesium-rich andesites that occur on a small island in the southwestern Japan arc. Through this work, although it is still going on, I strongly recognized the importance of the local study with the global viewpoint. I also learned that multidisciplinary approaches, in addition to classic petrology, are needed for comprehensive understanding of magma genesis. These experiences greatly affected the later works on magma genesis in subduction zones and hotspots and led me to the fantasy of the subduction factory.

One of the great experiences for me is to have been able to work with those who are living on the continents, through staying in the United Kingdom and Australia and numerous meetings for IODPs (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and International Ocean Discovery Program). I deeply acknowledge them, because they freed me from the island-country mentality, and I really hope to collaborate with them further, in order to understand how continents have been made in the ocean on this planet Earth.

—YOSHIYUKI TATSUMI, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan