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Mr Jonathan Moles

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Profile summary

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

Professional biography

Jonathan Moles is 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. By mapping 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.

PublicationGeology of Tindfjallajökull volcano, Iceland, Journal of Maps.

Additionally, I am working on a major eruption that occurred at Torfajökull volcano 55,000 years ago. The remnants of the eruption on land can be used to map the ice conditions in southern Iceland at the time of the eruption. Outside of Iceland, huge volumes of ash from the same eruption are found as a layer in the Greenland ice sheet and in 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.

Research interests

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

  • Reconstructing past glacial environments using volcanoes.
  • 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) and John Stevenson (British Geological Survey).


Widespread tephra dispersal and ignimbrite emplacement from a subglacial volcano (Torfajökull, Iceland) (2019-06-01)
Moles, Jonathan D.; McGarvie, Dave; Stevenson, John A.; Sherlock, Sarah C.; Abbott, Peter M.; Jenner, Frances E. and Halton, Alison M.
Geology, 47(6) (pp. 577-580)
Geology of Tindfjallajökull volcano, Iceland (2018-01-23)
Moles, Jonathan D.; McGarvie, Dave; Stevenson, John A. and Sherlock, Sarah C.
Journal of Maps, 14(2) (pp. 22-31)