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.
Researchers from the University’s School of GeoSciences have been awarded a NERC Urgency Research Grant to undertake a project aimed at reducing volcanic risk around Fuego volcano in Guatemala, which recently erupted.