[ Skip to content]

Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh

School of GeoSciences

Personal Home Pages

Section Contents

  • Dr John A. Stevenson

Dr John A. Stevenson

M.A., M.Sci.(Cantab), Ph.D.(Open), F.G.S.
Royal Society of Edinburgh / Scottish Government Personal Research Fellow
Co-funded by Marie-Curie Actions

< Research | Blog | C.V. | Publications | Teaching | Conferences | Contact >

Current Research

Explosive silicic eruptions in Iceland: From vents to peat bogs.

Despite its moderate size, the April 2010 explosive eruption of Eyjafjallajökull highlighted how Icelandic volcanism can affect the UK. Ash from previous eruptions of Hekla volcano in Iceland, some of which were many times larger, is preserved in soils across Scotland as microtephra layers. This project seeks to understand the eruptive and transportation processes by which microtephra layers form and to evaluate the hazard to the UK presented by the eruptions that produce them (e.g. airport closures, potential fluorine poisoning of livestock).

Building on past research in physical volcanology, volcano monitoring and geographic information science, as well as 10 years field-experience in Iceland, the project will investigate how magma fragments into fine ash in subaerial and subglacial settings and how the ash is injected into the atmosphere and transported across the Atlantic to the UK. The outputs will include new volcanological inputs for ash transport models, improved understanding of magma fragmentation and ash generation, and evaluation of the hazards associated with a range of Icelandic eruption scenarios.

Meanwhile, compilation of data from recent Icelandic eruptions, including from new methods such as air quality monitoring and citizen science ash collecting allows their effects within the UK to be measured.

Sponsors: this project is funded by The Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Scottish Government and Marie-Curie Actions.

Collaborations: this project is in collaboration with, among others, Dr Sue Loughlin (British Geological Survey), Dr Thor Thordarson (Institute of Earth Sciences, Háskóli Íslands), Prof Guđrún Larsen (Institute of Earth Sciences, Háskóli Íslands), Professor Andy Dugmore (School of Geosciences, Edinburgh University), Dr Matthew Hort, Dr Sarah Millington, Dr Frances Beckett (UK Met Office).

Project Outline: download a pdf file of the project outline here.


< Research | Blog | C.V. | Publications | Teaching | Conferences | Contact >

Volcan01010 blog

I have a blog where I write about Icelandic eruptions, including discussion of the chances of another eruption closing UK airports, the pros and cons of dispersion models and satellites in mapping ash clouds and a list of useful open-source software for geoscientists.

You can read it at http://all-geo.org/volcan01010.


< Research | Blog | C.V. | Publications | Teaching | Conferences | Contact >

Brief C.V.

  • Oct 2010 - Present: Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • Jan 2008 - Apr 2010: EPSRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Manchester, UK.
  • Jan 2006 - Sep 2007: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Universidad de Colima, Mexico.
  • Apr 2005 - Dec 2005: Temporary Lecturer, Lancaster University, UK.
  • Oct 2001 - Mar 2005: Ph.D. Volcano-ice interaction at Örćfajökull and Kerlingarfjöll, Iceland, The Open University, UK.
  • Oct 1997 - Jun 2001: M.A., M.Sci. Geological Sciences, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, U.K.

< Research | Blog | C.V. | Publications | Teaching | Conferences | Contact >

Publications

See an automatically-generated list (including citation information) on my Google Scholar profile.
Analysis of citations of a recent volcanology review shows that most of the important articles in volcanology are published in Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Bulletin of Volcanology and the Journal of Geophysical Research.
  1. Novel monitoring methods (including citizen scientists' data) confirm light ash deposition, mainly in Scotland, from Grímsvötn eruption.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., S. C. Loughlin, A. Font, G. W. Fuller, A. MacLeod, I. W. Oliver, B. Jackson, C. J. Horwell, T. Thordarson, and I. Dawson (2013), UK monitoring and deposition of tephra from the May 2011 eruption of Grímsvötn, Iceland, Journal of Applied Volcanology, 2(1), 3, doi:10.1186/2191-5040-2-3. Open access
  2. Repeat thermal surveys show endogenous lava input to dome matched by rock fall output.
    *    Hutchison, W., N. Varley, D. M. Pyle, T. A. Mather, and J. A. Stevenson (2013), Airborne thermal remote sensing of the Volcán de Colima (Mexico) lava dome from 2007 to 2010, Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 380, doi:10.1144/SP380.8.
  3. Multidisciplinary collaboration compiles timeline of eruption rate, geochemistry, plume and volume for Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption.
    *    Gudmundsson, M. T., T. Thordarson, A. Höskuldsson, G. Larsen, H. Björnsson, A. Prata, B. Oddsson, E. Magnússon, T. Högnadóttir, G. Petersen, C. L. Hayward, J. A. Stevenson, and I. Jónsdóttir (2012), Ash generation and distribution from the April-May 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Scientific Reports, 2, 572, doi:10.1038/srep00572. Open access
  4. Eyjafjallajökull ash identified and characterised from the Faroe Islands to Budapest.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., S. C. Loughlin, C. Rae, T. Thordarson, A. Milodowski, J. S. Gilbert, S. Harangi, R. Lukács, B. Hřjgaard, U. Árting, S. Pyne-O'Donnell, A. MacLeod, B. Whitney, and M.Cassidy, (2012), Distal deposition of tephra from the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 summit eruption, J. Geophys. Res., 117, B008904, doi:201210.1029/2011JB008904.
  5. Quantitative image analysis reveals fragmentation was only driven by water during first explosive phase of Eyjafjallajökull eruption.
    *    Dellino, P., M. T. Gudmundsson, G. Larsen, D. Mele, J. A. Stevenson, T. Thordarson, and B. Zimanowski (2012) Ash from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption (Iceland): Fragmentation processes and aerodynamic behavior. J. Geophys. Res., 117, B00C04, doi:10.1029/2011JB008726.
  6. LiDAR and infrared airborne surveys of Icelandic lava reveal rapid lava advance fed by catastrophic drainage of inflated flow field.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., N. C. Mitchell, M. Cassidy, and H. Pinkerton (2011), Widespread inflation and drainage of a pāhoehoe flow field: the Nesjahraun, Ţingvellir, Iceland. Bulletin of Volcanology, Online First, doi:10.1007/s00445-011-0482-z.
  7. Airborne and sonar surveys of Icelandic lava flow show flow aa lavas are much less affected by water entry than pahoehoe.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., N. C. Mitchell, F. Mochrie, M. Cassidy, and H. Pinkerton (2011), Lava penetrating water: the different behaviours of pāhoehoe and ‘a‘ā at the Nesjahraun, Ţingvellir, Iceland. Bulletin of Volcanology, Online First, doi:10.1007/s00445-011-0480-1.
  8. Explosive subglacial rhyolite eruptions may start 'wet' but quickly dry up as role of ice is limited to confinement.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., J. S. Gilbert, D. W. McGarvie, and J. L. Smellie (2011), Explosive rhyolite tuya formation: Classic examples from Kerlingarfjöll, Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30(1-2), 192-209, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.10.011.
  9. Analysis of seismic waveforms suggests vulcanican activity at Colima controlled by sealing then fracture of impermeable cap in conduit.
    *    Varley, N., R. Arámbula-Mendoza, G. Reyes-Dávila, R. Sanderson, and J. Stevenson (2010), Generation of Vulcanian activity and long-period seismicity at Volcán de Colima, Mexico. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 198(1-2), 45-56, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.08.009.
  10. Characteristics of swarms of long-period earthquakes at Colima show little correlation with explosion size.
    *    Varley, N.R., R. Arámbula-Mendoza, G. Reyes-Dávila, J. Stevenson, R. Harwood (2010), Long-period seismicity during magma movement at Volcán de Colima. Bulletin of Volcanology, 72(9), 1093-1107, doi:10.1007/s00445-010-0390-7.
  11. Applying 3D modelling algorithm to topographic data removes noise while preserving underlying features.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., X. Sun, and N. C. Mitchell (2010), Despeckling SRTM and other topographic data with a denoising algorithm, Geomorphology, 114(3), 238-252, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.07.006.
  12. Fine ash from dilute pyroclastic density currents may be formed by milling of clasts.
    *    Evans, J. R., J. E. Huntoon, W. I. Rose, N. Varley, J. A. Stevenson, (2009), Particle sizes of andesitic ash fallout from vertical eruptions and co-pyroclastic flow clouds, Volcán de Colima, Mexico, Geology, 37(10), 935-938, doi:10.1130/G30208A.1.
  13. Public information campaigns increase knowledge of risk, but not necessarily acceptance of control measures.
    *    Gavilanes-Ruiz, J. C., A. Cuevas-Muńiz, N. Varley, G. Gwynne, J. A. Stevenson, R. Saucedo-Girón, A. Pérez-Pérez, M. Aboukhalil, and A. Cortés-Cortés (2009), Exploring the factors that influence the perception of risk: The case of Volcán de Colima, Mexico, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 186(3-4), 238-252, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.12.021.
  14. Unlike in other documented examples, water can pond during intermediate subglacial eruptions leading to subaqueous-like deposits.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., J. L. Smellie, D. W. McGarvie, J. S. Gilbert, and B. I. Cameron (2009), Subglacial intermediate volcanism at Kerlingarfjöll, Iceland: Magma-water interactions beneath thick ice, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 185(4), 337-351, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.12.016.
  15. New method, controlled for weather conditions, shows fumarole temperature decline alongside decreasing explosive activity.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., and N. Varley (2008), Fumarole monitoring with a handheld infrared camera: Volcán de Colima, Mexico, 2006-2007, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 177(4), 911-924, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.07.003.
  16. The presence of ice does not make an effusive rhyolite eruption explosive.
    *    McGarvie, D., J. A. Stevenson, R. Burgess, H. Tuffen, and A. Tindle (2007), Volcano-ice interactions at Prestahnúkur, Iceland: Rhyolite eruption during the last interglacial-glacial transition, Annals of Glaciology, 45, 38-47, doi:10.3189/172756407782282453.
  17. Volcano-ice interactions reveal large (700 m) changes in ice thickness and rapid channel erosion at Icelandic stratovolcano.
    *    Stevenson, J. A., D. McGarvie, J. Smellie, and J. Gilbert (2006), Subglacial and ice-contact volcanism at the Örćfajökull stratovolcano, Iceland, Bulletin of Volcanology, 68(7-8), 737-752, doi:10.1007/s00445-005-0047-0.

< Research | Blog | C.V. | Publications | Teaching | Conferences | Contact >

Teaching

2013-14:
  • Volcanology (3rd year); co-lecturer
  • Introduction to Python Plotting (Innovative Learning); co-organiser
  • Volcanoes, Environment and People; fieldtrip
2012-13:
  • Introduction to Physical Volcanology (3rd+4th year); co-lecturer
  • Innovative Learning Week coordinator
  • Volcanoes, Environment and People; fieldtrip
  • Earth Dynamics; fieldtrip
  • Introduction to Python Plotting (Workshop); co-organiser
2011-12:
  • Introduction to Physical Volcanology (3rd+4th year); co-lecturer
  • Volcanoes, Environment and People; fieldtrip
  • Introduction to the Geological Record; fieldtrip
2010-11:
  • Volcanoes, Environment and People; co-lecturer (sabbatical cover)
  • Volcanoes, Environment and People; fieldtrip

< Research | Blog | C.V. | Publications | Teaching | Conferences | Contact >

Conferences and talks

2014:
  • Do Iceland's volcanoes pose a threat to the UK?, Geographical Association annual conference, Guildford (invited)
  • Icelandic Ash in the UK, EPS Seminar, GeoSciences Edinburgh
  • Icelandic Ash in the Scotland, Royal Society of Edinburgh (invited)
  • Physical properties of volcanic ash particles and implications for forecasting ash cloud transport, American Meteorological Society (coauthor)
  • A feature-preserving denoising algorithm to improve the quality of geomorphic analysis, GeoSciences Gradschool (poster)
  • Big volcanic ash grains, even from small plumes, travel long distances: implications for satellite remote sensing, VMSG, Edinburgh
  • Chair, Local Organising Committee, Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group (VMSG) 5-9 Jan 2014, VMSG, Edinburgh
2013:
  • Big volcanic ash grains, even from small plumes, travel long distances: implications for satellite remote sensing, European Geosciences Union, Vienna
  • Deposits of recent explosive subglacial Icelandic eruptions in Iceland and in the UK, UK Volcano-Ice meeting, Lancaster
  • How scared should you be of Iceland's volcanoes?, Loretto School Boreas Society, Musselborough (invited)
  • The impact of the characteristics of volcanic ash particles on forecasting the long range dispersion of ash clouds., American Meteorological Society (coauthor)
  • Inflation, Drainage and Lava-water Interaction During the Emplacement of the Nesjahraun, Iceland., VMSG, Bristol (poster)
2012:
  • Despeckling SRTM and other topographic data with a denoising algorithm, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco (poster, coauthor)
  • Volcán de Colima: Mexico's most active volcano, Háskóli Íslands, Reykjavík (invited)
  • More than just möberg, Háskóli Íslands, Reykjavík (invited)
  • Grímsvötn 2011 tephra in the UK: Public sampling, air quality and comparison with model predictions, AGU Chapman Conference on Volcanoes and Climate, Selfoss
  • Grímsvötn 2011 tephra in the UK: Public sampling, air quality and comparison with model predictions, European Geosciences Union, Vienna
  • A feature-preserving denoising algorithm to improve the quality of geomorphic analysis, European Geosciences Union, Vienna (poster)
  • Deposition in the UK of tephra from recent Icelandic eruptions, Nordic Winter meeting, Reykjavík
  • Deposition in the UK of tephra from recent Icelandic eruptions, VMSG, Durham (poster)
  • Explosive silicic eruptions in Iceland: From vent to peat bog, University of St Andrews (invited)
2011:
  • Monitoring Mexico's most active volcano, Open University Geological Society AGM, Myerscough (invited)
  • Characteristics of distal ash from the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 summit eruption, UK Volcano-Ice meeting, Lancaster
  • Distal tephra from the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 summit eruption, Tephra in Quaternary Science workshop (session chair)
  • Volcano-ice interactions in Iceland, Scottish Universities Research in Glacial Environments (SURGE) workshop
  • Explosive silicic eruptions in Iceland: From vent to peat bog, Edinburgh GeoSciences Petrology Volcanology Geochemistry (PVG) seminar
  • Morphology of proximal and distal ash grains from the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull summit eruption, European Geosciences Union, Vienna (poster)
2010:
  • Overview of Icelandic volcanology, The Met Office, Exeter (invited)

< Research | Blog | C.V. | Publications | Teaching | Conferences | Contact >

Contact details

Click here for contact details.



© School of GeoSciences --- Privacy & Cookies --- Last modified: 19 Apr, 2014 --- Page contact: