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Douglas Saxon Coombs


MSc NZ PhD Cantab Hon DSc Geneva FRSNZ Hon FGS CNZM


Douglas Coombs FRSNZ

Douglas Coombs FRSNZ


Emeritus Professor Douglas S. Coombs, an eminent New Zealand geologist and a long-serving member of the University of Otago, died in Dunedin on 23 December 2016.

Born in Dunedin on 23 November 1924, Doug attended King’s High School from 1938 to 1942, where he was proxime accessit to dux, and gained a University National Entrance Scholarship. He was a keen sportsman, captaining King’s High School First cricket XI in 1942 as an accomplished right-handed batsman and leg break bowler. He played cricket for Otago against Southland in 1943.

Attending the University of Otago his path to geology was accidental, but he completed the requirements for a BSc, majoring in geology with a strong background in physical science. He was awarded a Senior Scholarship in geology and the Proudfoot Scholarship in Experimental Science. In 1947, having been appointed as Assistant Lecturer, he completed an MSc (University of New Zealand) entitled “The geology of the northern part of the Taringatura survey district” which was awarded First Class Honours in geology. He was a University of Otago Blue from 1947 to 1948, and member of the New Zealand Universities cricket XI in 1948.  In 1948 he was awarded the Sir Julius von Haast Prize and an 1851 Exhibition Scholarship that he held over for study in 1949-1952 at the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology and Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge, England. The thesis he submitted in 1952 for a PhD was in two parts entitled “I. Incipient metamorphism of tuffs and greywackes of the Taringatura Survey District, Southland, New Zealand” and “II. Studies in the determination of low temperature alkali feldspars”. He was also awarded a Cricketing Blue from Emmanuel College in 1951.

He returned to Dunedin in 1952 as Lecturer in Geology and, following up on his PhD work, collaborated with Dr W. S. (Bill) Fyfe in the Chemistry Department, determining the pressure and temperature of zeolite crystallisation. Doug was promoted to the position of Professor and Head of the Geology Department in 1956, taking over from Professor Noel E. Odell, geologist and famous mountaineer. In the same year, Doug married Anne G. Tarrant, and together they raised two sons, Bernard and Roderick, and daughter Jane.

Doug served in the joint capacities of Professor, and for 34 consecutive years, as Head of Department until his retirement in early 1990.  In the process he built a dynamic Geology Department, establishing with the staff he appointed, and the post-graduate students he attracted, international reputations in many aspects of earth science. Doug led from the front, spending Saturday morning at work in the Department, expecting his staff to be present until midday! In the summer, Doug spent Saturday afternoon playing cricket for one of the University sides, and the rest of the staff were then free to take their leave. He continued to enjoy the annual geology staff versus student cricket matches until late on in his career.

Doug was deeply concerned about the academic status of the Department and vetted all draft research articles that would carry the Department’s address. Those that he deemed inferior he locked in the bottom drawer of his desk, and, since there were no digital copies in those days, there they remained. Staff members who had resigned and left the Department have been known to write and ask for the return of draft research papers!

Doug was renowned for his attention to detail, his keen observation of geological field relationships (including teaching students to analyse excavations from rabbit burrows to determine the nature of underlying rocks!), and his unsurpassed expertise in petrographic microscopy. In this respect he clearly inherited the skills of his father, Leslie D. Coombs, a city architect and a keen amateur microscopist, and was strongly influenced by Dr F. J. (Frank) Turner and Professor W. N. Benson.

Doug is particularly well known for his contribution to mineralogy and petrology (the study of minerals and rocks), and the application of these studies to the plate tectonic evolution of Zealandia. He developed a national and international reputation for excellence in geological science, publishing over 100 refereed research papers and about 40 lesser articles and reports on a broad range of geological topics. His most cited papers are in the fields of low grade metamorphism where pioneering work at Taringatura in the Southland Syncline and a subsequent regional study of the Torlesse greywackes in Canterbury established that metamorphism (the recrystallisation and physical change of parental rocks in response to increase in temperature and pressure as a function of burial in the Earth’s crust) occurred at much lower temperatures than had previously been recognised internationally. He was able to define two subdivisions of metamorphic rocks, confirming the existence of the lowest temperature zeolite facies, first suggested by Finnish geologist Pentti Eskola, and setting up the previously unrecognised prehnite-pumpellyite facies formed at slightly higher temperature. These New Zealand-based subdivisions were subsequently vindicated by work overseas, and continue to form an integral part of the internationally recognised spectrum of metamorphic change.

One of his other main interests was in basaltic volcanic rocks, particularly, although not exclusively, those of the local Dunedin Volcanic Group. This interest was inherited from Professor W. N. Benson, one of the Geology Department’s previous Heads of Department, and long-serving teacher and mentor during Doug’s undergraduate career. Noel Benson had spent a lifetime at Otago mapping the Dunedin Volcano and Doug, through detailed microscopic observation and geochemical analysis, was able to explain the origin and subsequent evolution of magmas formed during the Dunedin volcano’s six million year long life.

The quality of Doug’s research and his growing national and international reputation led to numerous honours and awards that have included the McKay Hammer Award, Geological Society of New Zealand (1961), Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand (1962), Mineralogical Society of America Award (1962), Honorary Foreign and Commonwealth Member, Geological Society of London (1968), Hector Medal, Royal Society of New Zealand (1969), Honorary DSc, University of Geneva (1974), Foreign Associate, National Academy of Science, USA (1977), Life Fellow Mineralogical Society of America (1977), Honorary Member, Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1986), and Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM, 2002).

He has served as President of the Geological Society of New Zealand (1958–59), President or Secretary of Geology Sections at ANZAAS conferences in Dunedin (1957), Brisbane (1961) and Auckland (1979), Convenor of the Geology Section at the Pacific Science Congress, Dunedin (1983), Council Member for the International Mineralogical Association (1974–1986) and International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry (1977–1980), Vice-President of the International Mineralogical Association (1982-1986), Dean of Science at University of Otago (1964–1966), together with sundry other positions on national and international committees. Doug was a foundation member of the Geological Society of New Zealand, and served on the committee from 1957 to 1958. He won the Society’s McKay Hammer award in 1961.

As Professor of Geology he attended and presented lectures at numerous national and international conferences, and visited the Universities of Pennsylvania State, Yale, Toronto, Geneva, California at Santa Barbara, and Kochi Japan, during sabbatical leave entitlements.

Doug’s name is commemorated by the locality Coombs Hills, Antarctica, named by Bernard G. Gunn, Doug’s first PhD student. A fossil ammonoid Kakaria coombsi, a lamellibranch Praegonia coombsi, and ostracod Pellucicistoma coombsi also recognise his contribution to the stratigraphic history of New Zealand. Perhaps his greatest personal satisfaction would have been the naming in 1991 of a new mineral, coombsite, by Teruhiko Sameshima and scientific collaborator and ex-Otago staff member, Yosuke Kawachi. Coombsite is a pale brownish yellow fibrous phyllosilicate (mica-like) mineral from a pink-coloured, 50 cm wide rhodonite-quartz lens in schist from Watsons Beach in South Otago. It has the chemical formula K(Mn2+,Fe2+,Mg)13(Si,Al)18O42(OH)14. Appropriately the coombsite-bearing lens occurs within prehnite-pumpellyite schists, first described in Doug’s earlier pioneer work on low-grade metamorphism. Although clearly honoured and delighted at the naming of a new mineral, Doug was heard to describe it as “…a brown smudge on the surface of an otherwise attractive pink rock”! The mineral has subsequently been described from Kozhaevskoe manganese ore deposit in the South Urals, and from manganese nodules in the Haast Schist atMount Patriarch, northwest Otago, New Zealand.

In addition to his geological pursuits, Doug served as inaugural chairman of the Board of Governors of Kings High School, Dunedin between 1979 and 1988.

Doug’s other interests included fishing (particularly for salmon in the Otago Harbour and off the Peninsula coast), gardening and New Zealand flora in general, music and genealogy. In 2006, he and his wife Anne published the book “Strangers and Pilgrims: the von Tunzelmann Saga”, recounting the history of the von Tunzelmann family, originally from Saaremaa (Oesel) in Estonia. Five brothers and sisters of this family arrived in New Zealand between 1853 and 1862, and Doug is a descendant of that lineage.


Emeritus Professor Alan Cooper

University of Otago, Dunedin


Coombs, D.S. 1950. The geology of the northern Taringatura Hills, Southland. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 78, 426-448.

Coombs, D.S. 1950. Note on the occurrence of further porphyritic rocks in river gravels of South Canterbury and North Otago. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 78, 277-279.

Coombs, D.S. 1952. Cell size, optical properties and chemical composition of laumontite and leonhardite. American Mineralogist 37, 812-830.

Coombs, D.S. 1953. The pumpellyite mineral series. Mineralogical Magazine 30, 113-135.

Coombs, D.S. 1954. The nature and alteration of some Triassic sediments from Southland, New Zealand. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 82, 65-109.

Coombs, D.S. 1954. Ferriferous orthoclase from Madagascar. Mineralogical Magazine 30, 409-427.

Coombs, D.S. 1954. Mineral constituents of a Maori adze. Science Record, University of Otago 4, 23-24.

Coombs, D.S. 1955. X-ray observations on wairakite and non-cubic analcime. Mineralogical Magazine 30, 699-708.

Coombs, D.S. 1955. Notes on alkali feldspar, phillipsite and clinopyroxene from Siberia Hill and Mount Dasher. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 83, 369-372.

Coombs, D.S. 1956 The growth of the geological sciences. Inaugural Lecture, University of Otago, Dunedin.

Coombs, D.S. 1957. Professor W.N. Benson, F.R.S. Nature 180, 1023-1024.

Coombs, D.S. 1958. Zeolitized tuffs from the Kuttung glacial beds near Seaham, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Science 21, 18-19.

Coombs, D.S. 1959. Professor William Noel Benson, F.R.S. (Obituary). Proceedings  of the Geological Society of London 1572, 142-144.

Coombs, D.S. 1959. Zeolite uses and New Zealand deposits. 4th Triennial Conference, School of Mines and Metallurgy, University of Otago, paper 162.

Coombs, D.S., Ellis, A.J., Fyfe, W.S., Taylor, A.M. 1959. The zeolite facies, with comments on the interpretation of hydrothermal syntheses. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 17, 53-107.

Coombs, D.S., Hatherton, T. 1959. Palaeomagnetic studies of Cenozoic volcanic rocks in New Zealand. Nature 184, 883-884.

Coombs, D.S. 1959. Contributions to Lexique Strat. International Oceanie, Fasc. 4, New Zealand, pp 83, 188, 193, 261-262, 295, 297, 313, 333, 353, 353-354, 440.

Coombs, D.S. , Lauder, W.R. 1960. Note on xonotlite from Acheron River, mid-Canterbury. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 3, 72-73.

Coombs, D.S. 1960. Lower grade mineral facies in New Zealand. InternationalGeological Congress XXI , 339-351.

Coombs, D.S. 1960. Lawsonite metagreywackes in New Zealand. American Mineralogist 45, 454-455.

Coombs, D.S., White, A.J.R., Hamilton, D. 1960. Age relations of the Dunedin Volcanic Complex and some paleogeographic implications. Parts I and II. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 3, 325-336, and 572-579.

Coombs, D.S., Campbell, J.D., Fleming, C.A., Kear, D., McKellar, I.C., Mutch, A.R., Speden, I.G., Waterhouse, J.B., Wood, B.L., Marwick, J. 1960. Note on the Gore-Balfour Series boundary. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 3, 284-286.

Coombs, D.S. 1961. Some recent work on the lower grades of metamorphism. Australian Journal of Science 24, 203-215.

Coombs, D.S. 1961. Basalt relationships illustrated by the plagioclase-ferroan-diopside-olivine-silica diagram. American Mineralogist 47, 187 (Abstract).

Coombs, D.S. 1963. Trends and affinities of basaltic magmas and pyroxenes as illustrated on the diopside-olivine-silica diagram. Mineralogical Society of America Special Paper 1, 227-250.

Coombs, D.S. 1965. Contributions to “New Zealand Volcanology, South Island”. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Information Series No 51, Thompson, B.N., Kermode, L.O.)
Volcanism in the South Island (with Gregg, D.R.) pp. 5-8.
The Early Tertiary petrographic province of north-east Otago – Waiareka and Deborah Volcanic Formations (with Dickey, J.S.) pp 38-53.
Dunedin volcanic complex and Waipiata volcanic formation, pp 54-67.

Coombs, D.S. 1965. Sedimentary analcime rocks and sodium-rich gneisses. Mineralogical Magazine 34, 144-158.

Coombs, D.S., Roedder, E. 1966. Immiscibility in granitic melts indicated by fluid inclusions in ejected granitic blocks from Ascension Island volcanic breccias. Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 46, 187-188 (Abstract).

Coombs, D.S., Whetten, J.T. 1966 Composition of low temperature nalcime Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 46, 181-182 (Abstract).

Coombs, D.S., Landis, C.A. 1966. Pumice from the south sandwich eruption of March 1962 reaches New Zealand. Nature 209, 289-290.

Campbell, J.D., Coombs, D.S. 1966. Murihiku Supergroup (Triassic—Jurassic) of Southland and South Otago. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 9, 393-398.

Coombs, D.S., Wilkinson, J.F.G. 1967. The nature of 'ameletite'. Mineralogical Magazine 36, 438-443.

Coombs, D.S., Whetten, T. 1967. Composition of analcime from sedimentary and burial metamorphic rocks. Geological Society of America Bulletin 78, 269-282.

Landis, C.A., Coombs, D.S. 1967. Metamorphic belts and orogenesis in southern New Zealand. Tectonophysics 4, 501-518.

Roedder, E., Coombs, D.S. 1967. Immiscibility in Granitic Melts, Indicated by Fluid Inclusions in Ejected Granitic Blocks from Ascension Island. Journal of Petrology 8, 417-451.

Coombs, D.S. 1968 Low grade mineral facies. Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 49, 344 (Abstract).

Coombs, D.S., Wilkinson, J.F.G. 1969. Lineages and fractionation trends in undersaturated volcanic rocks from the East Otago volcanic province (New Zealand) and related rocks. Journal of Petrology, 10, 440-501.

Coombs, D.S. 1969. Book review. – Ultramafic and related rocks. American Journal of Science 267, 727.

Coombs, D.S. 1969. Book review. Basalts: The Poldervaart treatise on rocks of basaltic composition. American Journal of Science 267, 124-127.

Coombs, D.S., Horodyski, R.J., Naylor, R.S. 1970. Occurrence of prehnite-pumpellyite facies metamorphism in Northern Maine. American Journal of Science, 268, 142-156.

Reay, A., Coombs, D.S. 1971. Ashtonite, a strontian mordenite. Mineralogical Magazine 38, 383-385.

Coombs, D.S. 1971. Present status of the zeolite facies. Adv. Chem. Ser. 101, 317-327.

Nakamura, Y., Coombs, D.S. 1973. Clinopyroxenes in the Tawhiroko tholeiitic dolerite at Moeraki, north-eastern Otago, New Zealand. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 42, 213-228.

McDougall, I., Coombs, D.S. 1973. Potassium-argon ages for the Dunedin volcano and outlying volcanics. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 16, 179-189.

Coombs, D.S., Sinton, J.M. 1973 Ophiolites in New Zealand (Abstract) “Ophiolites in the Earth’s crust” Acad. Nauk. SSR 100-102.

Coombs, D.S. 1974. On the mineral facies of spilitic rocks and their genesis. In “Spilites and spilitic rocks” Amstutz, G.C. (Ed.), Springer-Verlag, 373-385.

Coombs, D.S. 1974. Colin Osborne Hutton, 1910-1971 (Obituary notice). Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 102, 110-117.

Duncan, R.A., McDougall, I., Carter, R.M., Coombs, D.S. 1974. Pitcairn Island – another Pacific hot spot? Nature 251, 679-682.

Nakamura, Y., Coombs, D.S. 1974. Immiscible sulphide liquid in an acidic residual glass in the Tawhiroko tholeiitic dolerite at Moeraki, northeastern Otago. New Zealand Geochemical Group Newsletter 35, 48-49.

Price, R.C., Coombs, D.S. 1975.Phonolitic lava domes and other features of the Dunedin Volcano, East Otago. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 5, 133-152.

Boles, J.R., Coombs, D.S. 1975. Mineral reactions in zeolitic Triassic tuff, Hokonui Hills, New Zealand. Geological Society of America Bulletin 86, 163-173.

Coombs, D.S., Landis, C.A., Norris, R.J., Sinton, J.M., Borns, D.J., Craw, D. 1976. The Dun Mountain Ophiolite Belt, New Zealand, its tectonic setting, constitution, and origin, with special reference to the southern portion. American Journal of Science  276, 561-603.

Coombs, D.S., Campbell, J.D., Landis, C.A., McKellar, I.C., Bishop, D.G. 1976. Regional geology and petrology of the southern part of South Island, New Zealand. (Guidebook, Excursion 59C, 25th International geological Congress 1976).

Coombs, D.S., Nakamura, Y., Vuagnat, M. 1976. Pumpellyite-actinolite facies schists of the Taveyanne Formation near Loèche, Valais, Switzerland. Journal of Petrology 17, 440-471.

Coombs, D.S., Kawachi, Y., Houghton, B.F., Hyden, G., Pringle, I.J, Williams, J.G. 1977. Andradite and andradite-grossular solid solutions in very low-grade regionally metamorphosed rocks in Southern New Zealand. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 63, 229-246.

Denison, R.E., Coombs, D.S. 1977.Radiometric ages for some rocks from Snares and Auckland Islands, Campbell Plateau. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 34, 23-29.

Boles, J.R., Coombs, D.S. 1977. Zeolite facies alteration of sandstones in the Southland Syncline, New Zealand. American Journal of Science 277, 982-1012.

Landis, C.A., Coombs, D.S. 1978. Lithological and paleontological content of the Carboniferous-Jurassic Canterbury Suite, South Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 21, 137-140.

Coombs, D.S., Norris, R.J. 1981.  The East Abbotsford, Dunedin, New Zealand, Landslide of August 8, 1979: An Interim Report. Bulletin de Liaison des Laboratoires des Ponts et Chaussees, Ministere de l’Environment et du Cadre de Vie – Ministere des Transports, Paris, France. no. Speciale X, 27-34.

Craw, D., Coombs, D.S., Kawachi, Y. 1982. Interlayered biotite-kaolin and other altered biotites, and their relevance to the biotite isograd in eastern Otago, New Zealand. Mineralogical Magazine 45, 79-85.

Kawachi, Y., Grapes, R.H., Coombs, D.S., Dowse, M. 1983. Mineralogy and petrology of a piemontite-bearing schist, western Otago, New Zealand. Journal of Metamorphic Geology  1, 353-372.

Bosel, C.A., Coombs, D.S. 1984. Foveaux Formation: a warm-water, strandline deposit of Landon-Pareora age at Bluff Hill, Southland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 27, 221-223.

Kimbrough, D.L., Coombs, D.S. 1984. Uranium-lead ages from the Dun Mountain Ophiolite Belt, South Island, New Zealand. Ophioliti 9, 101.

Coombs, D.S., Dowse, M., Grapes, R., Kawachi, Y., Roser, B. 1985.  Geochemistry and origin of piemontite-bearing and associated manganiferous schists from Arrow Junction, western Otago, New Zealand. Chemical Geology 48, 57-78.

Coombs, D.S. 1985. New Zealand terranes. 3rd Circum-Pacific Terrane Conference, Geological Society of Australia, Extended Abstract 14, 45-48.

Coombs, D.S., Reay, A. 1986. Excursion C2. Cenozoic alkaline and tholeiitic volcanism, eastern South Island, New Zealand. Days 1 to 4. Dunedin Volcanic Group, Waiareka-Deborah Volcanics, Timaru Basalt. International Volcanological Congress Guide Book. University of Otago. 73 pp.

Coombs, D.S., Cas, R.A., Kawachi, Y., Landis, C.A., McDonough, W.F., Reay, A. 1986. Cenozoic volcanism in north, east and central Otago. Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 23, 278-312.

Coombs, D.S. 1986 Book review. Natural zeolites (by Gottardi, G., Galli, E.). Episodes 9, 121-122.

Coombs, D.S. 1986. Obituary notice. Professor Francis J. Turner. Newsletter Geological Society of New Zealand June 1988, 41-44.

Coombs, D.S. 1987. Dunedin Volcano. Geological Society of New Zealand, Miscellaneous Publication 37B, 2-28.

Ahn, J.H.,  Peacor, D.R., Coombs, D.S. 1988. Formation mechanisms of illite, chlorite and mixed-layer illite-chlorite in Triassic volcanogenic sediments from the Southland Syncline, New Zealand. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 99, 82-89.

Frost, C.D., Coombs, D.S. 1989. Nd isotope character of New Zealand sediments; implications for terrane concepts and crustal evolution. American Journal of Science 289, 744-770.

Haston, R.B., Luyendyk, B.P., Landis, C.A., Coombs, D.S. 1989. Paleomagnetism and question of original location of the Permian Brook Street Terrane, New Zealand. Tectonics 8, 791-801.

Coombs, D. S., Cox, S.C. 1991. Low-and Very Low-grade Metamorphism in Southern New Zealand and Its Geological Setting: Guide Book for South Island Field Tour, 15-20 November 1991. Geological Society of New Zealand.

Kimbrough, D.L., Mattinson, J.M., Coombs, D.S., Landis, C.A., Johnston, M.R. 1992. Uranium-lead ages from the Dun Mountain ophiolite belt and Brook Street terrane, South Island, New Zealand. Geological Society of America Bulletin 104, 429-443.

Coombs, D.S., Cook, N.D.J., Campbell, J.D. 1992. The Park Volcanics Group: field relations of an igneous suite emplaced in the Triassic‐Jurassic Murihiku terrane, South Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 35, 337-351.

Kimbrough, D.L., Tulloch, A.J., Geary, E., Coombs, D.S. 1993. Isotopic ages from the Nelson region of South Island New Zealand: crustal structure and definition of the Median Tectonic Zone. Tectonophysics 225, 433-448.

Graham, I.J., Coombs, D.S., Cook, N.D.J. 1993. Effects of low-temperature alteration on the Rb-Sr age of andesitic igneous rocks: Park Volcanics Group, Southland, New Zealand. Chemical Geology 104, 281-292.

Kawachi, Y., Coombs, D.S. 1993 Namansilite, NaMn3+Si2O6: a widespread clinopyroxene? Mineralogical Magazine 57, 533-538.

Coombs, D.S., Kawachi, Y., Reay, A. 1993. An occurrence of ardennite in quartz veins in piemontite schist, western Otago, New Zealand. Mineralogy and Petrology 48, 295-308.

Coombs, D.S. 1993. Dehydration veins in diagenetic and very‐low‐grade metamorphic rocks: features of the crustal seismogenic zone and their significance to mineral facies. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 11, 389-399.

Coombs, D.S., Roedder, E. 1994. On the significance of CO2 inclusions in plagioclase microphenocrysts in tholeiite from Moeraki, New Zealand. Bulletin of volcanology 56, 23-28.

Kimbrough, D.L., Tulloch, A.J., Coombs, D.S., Landis, C.A., Johnston, M.R., Mattinson, J.M. 1994. Uranium‐lead zircon ages from the median tectonic zone, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 37, 393-419.

Coombs, D.S., Kawachi, Y., Ford, P.B. 1996. Porphyroblastic manganaxinite metapelagites with incipient garnet in prehnite–pumpellyite facies, near Meyers Pass, Torlesse Terrane, New Zealand.  Journal of Metamorphic Geology 14, 125-142.

Kawachi, Y.,Coombs, D.S., Miura, H. 1996.  Noelbensonite, a new BaMn silicate of the lawsonite structure type, from Woods mine, New South Wales, Australia. Mineralogical Magazine 60, 369-374.

Coombs, D.S., Cook, N.D.J., Kawachi, Y., Johnstone, R.D., Gibson, L.L. 1996. Park Volcanics, Murihiku terrane, New Zealand: petrology, petrochemistry, and tectonic significance. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 39, 469-492.

Paull, R.K., Campbell, J.D., Coombs, D.S. 1996. New information on the age and thermal history of a probable Early Triassic siltstone near Kaka Point, South Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 39, 581-584.

Coombs, D.S. 1997. A note on the terrane concept, based on an introduction to the Terrane'97 conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, February, 1997. American Journal of Science 297, 762-764.

Coombs, D.S., Alberti, A., Armbruster, T., Artioli, G., Colella, C., Galli, E., Grice, J.D., Liebau, F., Mandarino, J.A., Minato, H., Nickel, E.H., Passaglia, E., Peacor, D.R. Quartieri, S., Rinaldi, R., Ross, M.I., Sheppard, R.A., Tillmanns, E., Vezzalini, G.

1997. Recommended nomenclature for zeolite minerals: report of the Subcommittee on Zeolites of the IMA, Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names. Canadian Mineralogist 35, 1571-1606. (also published in 1998 by European Journal of Mineralogy 10, 1037-1081, and Mineralogical Magazine 62, 533-571).

Li, G., Peacor, D.R., Coombs, D.S., Kawachi , Y. 1997. Solid solution in the celadonite family: The new minerals ferroceladonite, K2Fe2+2Fe3+3Si8O20(OH)4, and ferroaluminoceladonite, K2Fe2+2Al2Si8O20(OH)4. American Mineralogist 82, 503-511.

Li, G., Peacor, D.R., Coombs, D.S. 1997.  Transformation of smectite to illite in bentonite and associated sediments from Kaka Point, New Zealand; constrast in rate and mechanism. Clays and Clay Minerals 45, 54-67.

Li, G., Essene, E.J., Peacor, D.R., Coombs, D.S.  2000. Reactions leading to the formation and breakdown of stilpnomelane in the Otago Schist, New Zealand. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 18, 393-407.

Mossman, D.J., Coombs, D.S. 2000. High-Mg Arc-ankaramitic dikes, Greenhills complex, Southland, New Zealand. Canadian Mineralogist 38, 191-216.

Coombs, D.S., Zhao, G., Peacor, D.R. 2000. Manganoan berthierine, Meyers Pass, New Zealand: occurrence in the prehnite-pumpellyite facies. Mineralogical Magazine 64, 1037-1046.

Coombs, D.S., Landis, C.A., Hada, S., Ito, M., Roser, B.P., Suzuki, T., Yoshikura, S. 2000. The Chrystalls Beach‐Brighton block, southeast Otago, New Zealand: petrography, geochemistry, and terrane correlation. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 43, 355-372.

Nishimura, Y., Coombs, D.S., Landis, C.A., Itaya, T. 2000. Continuous metamorphic gradient documented by graphitization and K-Ar age, southeast Otago, New Zealand. American Mineralogist 85, 1625-1636.

Kawachi, Y., Coombs, D.S., Leake, B.E., Hinton, R.W. 2002.The anhydrous amphibole ungarettiite from the Woods mine, New South Wales, Australia. European Journal of Mineralogy 14, 375-377.

Roser, B.P., Coombs, D.S., Korsch, R.J., Campbell, J.D. 2002. Whole-rock geochemical variations and evolution of the arc-derived Murihiku Terrane, New Zealand. Geological Magazine 139, 665-685.

Campbell, J. D., Coombs, D.S., Grebneff, A. 2003. Willsher Group and geology of the Triassic Kaka Point coastal section, south‐east Otago, New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 33, 7-38.

Coombs, D.S., Bosel, C.A., Kawachi, Y., Paterson, L.A. 2005.A silica-deficient, shallow-marine zeolite assemblage in the Foveaux Formation, Bluff Peninsula, New Zealand. Mineralogical Magazine 69, 137-144.

Hoernle, K., White, J.D.L., van den Bogaard, P., Hauff, F.,Coombs, D.S., Werner, R., Timm, C., Garbe-Schonberg, D., Reay, A., Cooper, A.F. 2006. Cenozoic intraplate volcanism on New Zealand: Upwelling induced by lithospheric removal. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 248, 350-367.

Hada, S., Yoshikura, S., Landis, C.A., Coombs, D.S. 2006. Melange fabric of the Chrystalls Beach Complex, southeast Otago, New Zealand. Journal of the Geological Society of Japan 112, XI-XII.

Kawachi, Y., Grapes, R.H., Coombs, D.S., Dowse, M. 2007. Mineralogy and petrology of a piemontite‐bearing schist, western Otago, New Zealand. Journal of Metamorphic Geology 1, 353-372.

Coombs, D.S., Beck, R.J., Adams, C.J., Bannister, J.M., Paterson, L.A., Roser, B.P. 2008. Paralava produced by combustion of dead gorse near Colac Bay, Southland, New Zealand. Journal of Geology 116, 94-101.

Coombs, D.S., Adams, C.J., Roser, B.P., Reay, T. 2008. Geochronology and geochemistry of the Dunedin Volcanic Group, eastern Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 51, 195-218.

Kawachi, Y., Coombs, D.S., Akai, J., Lilly, K., Walls, D. 2012, An imperfectly crystalline manganese phyllo-silicate from the Woods mine, New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Mineralogy 16, 87-94.


Obituary was lodged on website on 3 April 2017.