Timescale of explosive eruptions at densely populated active volcanoes

This project is available from the academic year 2020/21 onwards.

Theme: Natural & Biological Hazards

Primary Supervisor:

Chiara Maria Petrone

Earth Sciences Department, NHM

Chiara Maria Petrone's Profile Picture

Secondary Supervisor:

Hilary Downes

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, BBK

Hilary Downes's Profile Picture

Project Description:

Popocatepetl volcano, in central Mexico, is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in Mexico and North America. It is located only 70 km from Mexico City, with more than 10 million people living in a radius of 70 km from the crater.

It represents a real threat for million of people but its behaviour is not completely understood. It is characterised by large explosive events alternating with moderate explosive activity.

This PhD aims to:

1) constrain crystal residence time and timescale multiple pre- and syn-eruptive magmatic processes as recorded by core-rim and chemically zoned portion of single crystals via elemental diffusion modelling;

2) reconstruct models of the plumbing system of Popocatepetl and the implications for volcanic hazard.

We seek a highly motivated and organised student with keen interests in igneous petrology and volcanology. There is also the possibility of fieldwork in Mexico.

Policy Impact of Research:

The project is tackling the important issue of timescales pre-eruptive magmatic processes in an extremely dangerous volcano.

This vital information is completely absent for Popocatepetl and it is extremely relevant for monitoring and forecast of volcanic hazards.

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