My research is in the area of volcanology, especiallythe physical nature of volcanic processes. My research encompasses the study of the driving forces and controlling parameters of volcanic eruptive activity from the subsurface to the external environment, the emplacement mechanisms of volcanic flows, and the analysis of volcanic hazards. I employ a combination of approaches to study these processes including: (1) field-based studies on the resultant deposits in order to infer emplacement mechanisms; (2) deployment of instruments and collection of monitoring data to measure dynamical aspects of the processes as they ensue; (3) laboratory analog experiments to study simplified systems in a controlled environment in order to elucidate the controlling parameters and; (4) application of computational models to recreate conditions of past events and forward-model for investigating potential future hazards. Much of my work involves multi-disciplinary collaborations, especially with colleagues from the fields of applied mathematics, engineering and statistics. Other aspects of my work involve direct application of the outputs of volcanic hazard research which is often undertaken in collaboration with volcano observatories or government institutions responsible for mitigation of volcanic hazards.
Seismology: earthquake hazard; earthquake predictability; non-linear dynamics and statistical mechanics of earthquake sources; earthquake triggering. Rock Physics: fluid flow in fractured media; fracture scaling; fluid-rock interactions during deformation; coupling of mechanical, chemical and hydraulic processes; time-dependent deformation.
Volcanoes are exciting and dangerous phenomena that affect us globally. They appeal to our imaginations, but for those living in the shadow of an active volcano they represent a real threat. Although volcanoes have fascinated us for generations, there is still much we have yet to understand about them.
My research focuses on understanding the evolution of the eruptible magma that feed volcanic eruptions and the timescales over which this magma forms. Magma is composed of a mixture of molten rock, solid particles termed crystals and gas. The genesis of magma is complex. Although ultimately sourced from the mantle, the composition is often modified during assent through a combination of processes.
I use a combination of geochemical techniques including (SEM, (FEG)-EPMA, LA-ICPMS, TOF-SIMS, NanoSIMS) to interrogate the individual components of a magma to decipher its evolution during its complex history. This often includes a significant amount of development of new analytical protocols in order for us to obtain the analyses we will require.