School of Environment

Volcanology, Geochemistry, Petrology

New Zealand’s volcanic environment makes it an ideal natural laboratory for studying magmatic systems. We apply a variety of techniques to investigate many aspects of magma: from its genesis deep within the Earth through to its eruption at the surface. Our suite of analytical facilities and staff expertise enables us to use cutting edge geochemical techniques to address a wide range of research questions, from tracking the geochemical signature of major eruptions preserved in tree rings and speleothems through to crystal-specific investigations of magma chamber assembly. We apply volcanological techniques to improve our understanding of eruption records and volcanic processes at individual volcanoes and across volcanic fields, and we have a strong interest in volcanic hazard assessment.  Our field work takes us to a wide range of locations and tectonic settings, from the basaltic intraplate volcanic fields of Auckland, Saudi Arabia and Korea through to the arc-related volcanic systems of the Central north island, Lesser Antilles, United States, South America and Indonesia.  

Our research topics

  • Subduction zone magmatism/volcanism
  • Intraplate magmatism/volcanism
  • Geochemical proxies of volcanic eruptions
  • Cosmochemistry and Cosmochronology
  • Timescales and processes of magma assembly and eruption
  • Large-scale explosive volcanism
  • Volcanism and volcanic hazards
  • Volcanic mass flow deposits
  • Probabilistic eruption and event forecasting
  • Environmental, agricultural and health impacts of volcanic eruptions
  • Crypto-tephra analysis: chronology development and ash-fall hazards  

Key staff