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Profile summary

  • Research Student
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences
  • jonathan.moles

Professional biography

I am a PhD research student (2014 - present) funded by NERC through the CENTA Doctoral Training Partnership.

My research project focusses on Tindfjallajökull volcano in Iceland. Unlike the neighbouring Eyjafjallajökull volcano, no eruptions have been recorded at Tindfjallajökull and the past behaviour of the volcano is largely unknown. Using the products of past eruptions, my research aims to improve our understanding of how Tindfjallajökull volcano has developed through time. Local and regional glaciation has played an important role in the construction and erosion of the volcano, and ice has exerted a strong influence on many past eruptions.

Additionally, I am working on a major eruption that occurred in Iceland 55,000 years ago. Huge volumes of ash from this eruption are found in southern Iceland and as a layer in the Greenland ice sheet and North Atlantic sediments. This ash is a very useful time marker which helps us to understand the climate and environments of the North Atlantic region during the midst of the last glacial period. I am researching the environment of southern Iceland at the time of the eruption and I aim to identify the volcano responsible for this significant event.

Research interests

Through my work, I am engaged in the following areas of research:

  • The use of volcanoes in studying past glacial environments.
  • Geological mapping of volcanoes.
  • The interaction between volcanic eruptions and ice (glaciovolcanism).
  • Tephrochronology and the glacial evolution of Iceland during the Pleistocene.
  • Dating of volcanic rocks using Ar-Ar techniques.

Supervisors: Dave McGarvie (OU), Sarah Sherlock (OU), Mike Widdowson (University of Hull) and John Stevenson (University of Edinburgh).