The Volcanic and Magmatic Research Group

The Volcanic and Magmatic Research Group

Welcome to the Volcanic and Magmatic Research Group (VMRG) website.

VMRG is based in the Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Macquarie University with links to the Dept. of Environmental Sciences and Dept. of Geography and Planning.

We are a network of people with a wide-range of skills and interest in volcano-related research, from numerical modelling and geochemical investigation of volcanic and magmatic processes, through classic field volcanology to volcanic hazards and risk communication.

 

Contact:

Associate Prof. Heather Handley

ARC Future Fellow

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Macquarie University

heather.handley@mq.edu.au

+61 (0)2 9850 4403

Our People 

Heather Handley 

Heather Handley

Associate Professor/ARC Future Fellow

heather.handley@mq.edu.au

My research interests include: (i) the integration of field volcanology and volcano geochemistry, (ii) magma genesis at subduction zone volcanoes and small-volume basaltic volcanic fields (petrological, mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic perspectives) and (iii) the timescales of magmatic processes using U-series isotopes and elemental diffusion in volcanic minerals.

JC

Juan Carlos Afonso

Associate Professor

juan.afonso@mq.edu.au

My research interests lie in the fields of geophysics and geodynamics, and span many different geophysical and geological processes. My current research integrates different disciplines such as mineral physics, petrology, geodynamics, lithospheric modelling, nonlinear inversion, and physics of the mantle in general, to explore and improve our understanding of plate tectonics.

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Nathan Daczko

Associate Professor

nathan.daczko@mq.edu.au

Associate Professor Nathan Daczko is a metamorphic petrologist who combines field and laboratory studies to examine metamorphic processes. He addresses multiple scales, from microstructure to the evolution of large orogens. 

My current research is focused on the microstructural and microchemical changes that occur during melt-rock interaction. This research crosses discipline boundaries to explore igneous/structural mechanisms of melt migration and metamorphic processes of melt-rock reaction that might track the pathways.

CF 

Chris Firth

Lecturer

christopher.firth@mq.edu.au

I am interested in understanding what drives volcanic eruptions of all types, from persistently active lava lakes to large, caldera-forming blasts. To achieve this I use a variety of approaches, including geochemical analysis of volcanic products, gas monitoring and satellite-based remote sensing techniques. My research is currently focused on less-well studied volcanoes in South Pacific nations such as Vanuatu and PNG. 

Stephen Foley

Professor

stephen.foley@mq.edu.au

I am a trained petrologist and high-pressure experimentalist and later branched out into high-temperature geochemistry and microanalysis of minerals. My research is centred on (i) the formation of melts in the mantle, particularly melts of minor rock constituents of the mantle, (ii) petrological processes during the first half of Earth history, and (iii) the evolution of geological processes through time and the resulting re-distribution of elements in the mantle and crust. Methods include experimental petrology and microanalysis of major and trace elements. Field areas have included Finland, Uganda, Labrador, South Africa, Siberia and Spain.

Steve Hansen 

Steven Hansen

Lecturer

steven.hansen@mq.edu.au

My research uses seismic waves and their sources to investigate the structure of the earth’s subsurface and the processes that occur therein. Currently, I am studying a large seismic dataset collected in 2014 in collaboration with the imaging Magma Under St Helens project (iMUSH). The aim of this large multi-disciplinary experiment is to constrain the structure of the deep crust and uppermost-mantle beneath the Mount St Helens region of the Cascadia subduction zone. I have been researching several topics with these data including scattered wave imaging of the crust-mantle boundary, body-wave tomography of the upper-crust, and the detection and location of small earthquakes that occur at the volcano.

VMRG 

Katharine Haynes

Senior Research Fellow

katharine.haynes@mq.edu.au

Katharine is a human geographer at the Department of Geography & Planning, Macquarie University, specialising in risk communication, community and youth-centred disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. She completed her PhD at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, investigating the communication of risk on the volcanically active island of Montserrat WI. Katharine now works across a range of hazards and risks but maintains a keen interest in volcanic risk reduction.

In 2015, Katharine was awarded the Australian Academy of Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) for the most important contributions in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for a scientist under the age of 40.

Christina Magill

Senior Risk Scientist

christina.magill@mq.edu.au

Christina’s research interests include the physical, economic and health consequences of volcanic eruptions and other natural hazard events, probabilistic volcanic hazard modelling, and volcanic risk assessment.  Christina has developed two volcanic hazard and loss models: VolcaNZ – for the North Island of New Zealand, and KazanRisk – for Greater Tokyo, Japan.

Simon Turner

Distinguished Professor

simon.turner@mq.edu.au

I am a geochemist and geochronologist. My research concerns the processes of partial melting and magma formation within the Earth. I approach this through the analysis of elemental concentrations and isotope ratios in silicate rocks and minerals.

My particular strength lies in having worked on a broad range of problems and having utilized a large range of techniques. These include orogenic and post-orogenic magma petrogenesis, sediment provenance, crustal growth and erosion, continental flood basalts, potassic lavas associated with high plateau formation, ocean island basalts and island arc lavas. For the last 10 years, my research has largely concentrated on the application of short-lived, U-series isotopes to constraining the time scales of magma formation, transport and differentiation. This relatively new approach requires demanding analytical techniques but has been at the forefront of a revolution in our understanding of the physical processes of magma petrogenesis.

VMRG 

John Adam

Research Assistant

john.adam@mq.edu.au

 
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Lucy McGee

Postdoctoral Researcher

lucy.mcgee@mq.edu.au

I am interested in magma generation in small eruptive centres in intra-plate and arc settings, and I use geochemical tools - mainly Uranium series chemistry - to investigate where melting begins, how magma batches move and how they are affected on their way to the surface. I am currently investigating the timescales of gas movement 210Pb isotopic analyses from recently erupted rocks at Soufriere Hills Volcano.


Beñat Oliveira-Bravo

Postdoctoral Researcher

benat.oliveira-bravo@students.mq.edu.au

My main research interests are Computational Fluid Dynamics and Numerical Modelling, and their applications to study the complex dynamics within the Earths Mantle.

Rosa Didonna 

Rosa Didonna

PhD Student

rosa.didonna@students.mq.edu.au

I’m a PhD student and my research investigates magma mixing processes beneath volcanoes as potential trigger of volcanic eruptions and their relative time scales between mixing and eruption.

The main aim of my work is to determine the time from mixing to the eruption for volcanoes in contrasting settings: Soufrière Hills Volcano (Montserrat, LesserAntilles), Waitomokia Volcano (Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand) and Gede Volcano (West Java, Indonesia). This information will be combined with detailed mineralogical,volcanological and monitoring data with significant outcomes for understanding explosive volcanoes and  their magmatic processes.


April Foote

PhD Student

april.foote@students.mq.edu.au

My research interests are physical volcanology, in particular monogenetic volcanism. I am currently working on eruption dynamics and timing in the Auckland Volcanic Field.

Louise Goode 

Louise Goode

PhD Student

louiserebeccagoode@gmail.com

- Using geological records to rescontruct the eruptive history of East Javanese volcanoes, Indonesia

- Integrating volcanology and geochemistry to understand the influence of magmatic processes on eruptive behaviour, and determining pre-eruptive magma storage conditions

- Current PhD research on Kelud volcano, Indonesia. 

Emma Singh 

Emma Singh

PhD Student

emma.phillips@students.mq.edu.au

From earth science, volcanology to natural hazard risk my research interests have grown from earth surface processes to understanding how natural hazard events impact society and the built environment. My main interest is large explosive volcanic eruptions and the impacts of ashfall. 

I am currently in the final year of my PhD looking at the impact of natural hazard events on critical infrastructure (power, telecommunication, transportation and utilities) and the implications of service failure on emergency response and disaster recovery. I have included my love for volcanoes in my PhD research by looking at the potential impact of ashfall on highway infrastructure from a future eruption at Mount Fuji, Japan. 

VMRG 

John Wardell

MRes Student

john.wardell@hdr.mq.edu.au

 

Alumni

    
VMRG 

Kelsie Dadd

Associate Professor

  
Stuart Mead 

Stuart Mead

Postdoctoral Researcher

s.mead@massey.ac.nz

- Numerical modelling of environmental flows

- Volcanic eruption record completeness

- Probabilistic hazard assessment using computational models

- Data generation, processing and analysis

Michael Turner 

Michael Turner

Postdoctoral Researcher

- Using U-series isotopes to look at volatile movement within the magma system (i.e., 210Pb).

- Using techniques such as SHRIMP SI and FTIR to determine the water content of pyroxenes from mantle and volcanic rocks. This data is used to estimate the volatile budget of the mantle through determining volatile inputs at subduction zones through to volatile loss by volcanism.

-Constraining factors that fractionate U-series isotopes within the erosional environment of the Earth’s crust.

 

Visitors

    
VMRG 

Robyn Inglis

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow

The University of York

 
VMRG 

Ian Smith

Honorary Professor

University of Auckland

 
VMRG 

Shane Cronin

Professor

University of Auckland

 
VMRG 

Mark Reagan

Professor

University of Iowa

  
VMRG 

Susanne Straub

Associate Research Professor

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, University of Columbia

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