Research

Magmatic processes in Galápagos

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Currently, my primary research focus is in examining the petrology and geochemistry of erupted volcanic rocks on the Galápagos Islands. Using state-of-the-art analytical techniques, I hope to unravel the petrologic record of pre-eruptive magmatic processes in the archipelago, identifying eruption triggers and controls on the style of volcanic activity. Additionally, the islands provide a unique natural laboratory that I hope to utilise to investigate the fundamental link between volcanic processes at the Earth’s surface and the mechanisms of magma generation in the mantle. Galápagos is one of the world’s most volcanically active regions and eruptions pose a significant threat to the islands’ ecology and human population. Ultimately, my work will aid in hazard assessment, and will feed into civil and wildlife protection efforts.

Collaborators: Sally Gibson, Dennis Geist, Benjamin Bernard, Matthew Gleeson

 

The fluid dynamics of magmatic mush

Working with collaborators at the BP Institute, University of Cambridge, I am investigating the fluid mechanics of magma migration through sub-volcanic mush systems. This project involves combining laboratory analogue experiments with novel numerical models to constrain processes in natural sub-volcanic systems. As extensive mush systems are thought to underlay many of the Earth’s volcanoes, the fluid dynamics of magma-mush interaction are fundamental in controlling volcanic and magmatic processes. The outcomes of this research will provide a framework for interpreting petrologic records of pre-eruptive processes.

Collaborators: Andy Woods

 

The hydrous mineral volatile record

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I am interested in using hydrous mineral and volcanic glass analyses to determine the pre-eruptive behaviour and concentrations of volatile species in volcanic systems. My work has largely focused on the mineral apatite and how this can be used to assess changes in magmatic volatile contents through time, in the build-up to eruptions. I have developed thermodynamic models that predict how apatite compositions change in response to magmatic processes and compare these with empirical data to gain new insights into natural systems. During my PhD, I used apatite analyses to investigate volatile behaviour and eruption triggering mechanisms in the Campi Flegrei volcanic system (Naples, Italy). This work is ongoing and I welcome collaborations with researchers interested in utilising hydrous mineral volatile records.

Collaborators: Madeleine Humphreys, Victoria Smith, Richard Brooker