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Volcano dynamics

Nguaruhoe Volcano, New Zealand (source: Stephen Blake)

Researchers in the Volcano Dynamics Group are interested in understanding how volcanoes work and how they affect the environment, wherever they occur, even on other planets. Our research covers satellite-based volcano monitoring and eruption detection, deep Earth processes, surface environmental impact, and planetary perspectives of magmatism.

Our research takes us to active and ancient volcanoes across the world – to Central America, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, India, Africa, and more. At any one time there are about ten students working towards a PhD in volcanology-related topics. This makes us one of the major university volcanology groups in the UK, and you will find us regularly presenting our work at international and national conferences.

Students work with volcanologists, petrologists, geophysicists, geochemists, geochronologists, biogeochemists, statisticians, planetary scientists, ecosystem scientists and specialists in remote sensing on research projects to solve problems relating to the following types of topic:

  • Forecasting volcanic eruptions
  • Environmental impacts of volcanic activity
  • Geochemistry of igneous rocks and solid Earth processes
  • Rates and timescales of volcanic processes
  • Monitoring active volcanism from satellites.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area

Potential research projects

We encourage enquiries from prospective students on any aspect of volcanology, including igneous petrology and geochemistry, and those linked to Earth System processes. Lists of postgraduate research projects likely to be available for a 2018 start will become available towards the end of 2017.

Please also see further opportunities.

Current/recent research projects

  • Volcanism in glacial environments
  • Forecasting the duration of volcanic eruptions
  • Environmental impact of persistent volcanism
  • The structure and dynamics of the Northern Volcanic Zone in Iceland
  • Ecological impacts of degassing from Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua
  • Iceland’s largest explosive eruptions
  • Real time satellite volcano monitoring

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 858253

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.