“Analogue modelling of volcanic mush systems”
PhD project title:
Understanding melt distribution beneath volcanoes using experimental and seismic techniques.
Volcanic events have the potential to kill and injure thousands of people and cost billions of dollars to global economies (Witham, 2005, Oppenheimer, 2015). Imaging the subsurface structure of a volcanic system can lead to better understanding of the threats posed and assist monitoring systems, but current imaging techniques provide only limited resolution of magmatic structures. Models of large-scale magmatic systems have evolved from simple chambers (Blake, 1981) to transient, layered structures of fluid, melt and crystal mush (Christopher et al., 2015).
Existing models of grain-scale melt structures are derived from 2D images of synthetically melted rock aggregates and simplified geometrical approximations, creating much ambiguity in their results. This study will use a new approach of 3D printing melt models to constrain the effects different melt structures have on seismic wave velocities and properties. A suite of parameters will be determined which will be applied to real-world, active volcanic settings to better describe their eruption dynamics. The results from this work will be transferrable to different volcanic settings and may also inform deep Earth studies.