UCL Earth Sciences


Prof Christopher Kilburn

Volcanology; Geophysical fluid dynamics, esp. lava flows and landslides; slow rock failure; hazard warning and mitigation.

Professor of Volcanology and Geophysical Hazards

Prof Christopher Kilburn




Prof of VolcanologyKathleen Lonsdale, 340

Courses Taught:

GEOL0041 Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
GEOL0042 Earthquake Hazards 
GEOL0066 Meteorological, Climate and Hydrogeological Hazards

Research Group(s):

UCL Hazard Centre

Email Address:

Telephone Number:

c.kilburn@ucl.ac.uk020 3108 6325 (56325)

Research Summary

I have been watching volcanoes erupt for more than 30 years, mostly in Italy, but also in Cameroon and the Caribbean. My current work is focused on forecasting eruptions at volcanoes reawakening after generations at rest and in designing warnings that are easily understood by vulnerable communities.

Case Study: Forecasts and warnings of volcanic eruptions.

We have developed a new physical model to improve the reliability of forecasts. The core idea is elementary: long-quiescent volcanoes must break themselves open to allow magma to erupt. Read the full case study.

When I can, I keep abreast of my previous research interests in the dynamics of lava flows, catastrophic slope failure and the runout of giant landslides. I look forward to broadening my horizons with new collaborations, so do get in touch if my experience might be of value.

Outreach Highlights:

  • Chris Kilburn from the UCL Hazard Centre discusses how their research helps plan risks for the insurance industry. WRN Spotlights
  • What it is like to take part in in a RADA Business Virtual Performance Programme. RADA