Kate Laxton

Kate Laxton

Profile Display Name:
Kate Laxton
E-mail Address:
Start Year

2017 (Cohort 4)

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PhD Project
PhD Title
Monitoring degassing behaviour and eruption precursors at Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania
Research Theme
Natural and Biological Hazards
Primary Supervisor

Adrian Jones

Primary Institution
Secondary Supervisor

Chiara Maria Petrone

Secondary Institution
Additional supervisor(s)
Sudeshna Basu ((Earth Sciences, UCL)),

The East African Rift System plays host to some of the Earth’s most unique and hazardous volcanoes. Among them is Oldoinyo Lengai volcano in northern Tanzania, characterised by some of the most remarkable features observed of any terrestrial volcano and capable of producing violent pyroclastic eruptions. Ol Doinyo Lengai is one of the most persistently high-CO2 degassing volcanoes worldwide, yet its remoteness has made it difficult for scientists to access regularly. This project will investigate novel remote gas and isotope sensing techniques to quantify the day-to-day degassing behaviour of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano. The overarching goal of this project is to contribute towards international efforts to set up a local, long-term monitoring partnership. This promises to provide significantly higher resolution data than is currently being achieved through sparse, short-term field campaigns. Remote sensing and monitoring techniques used throughout this project will include the use of custom-built gas sensing modules, set up for walking traverses, drone flights and permanent summit stations. Data from these will be compiled and presented as a 3D concentration profile model of the volcano. Furthermore, a Dual Laser Carbon Isotope Ratio Sensor will be tested in the field, providing the first in-situ, high-resolution 13C/12C isotope ratios for Ol Doinyo Lengai.

Policy Impact
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