“Better understanding to the processes involved in large volcanic collapse to help improve prediction, modelling and mitigation of the effects of future collapse and tsunami disasters.”
PhD project title:
Mechanical properties and processes of large volcanic collapses.
Volcanoes are inherently unstable structures and therefore are prone to collapse. Catastrophic collapses of volcanoes occur ubiquitously and often throughout geologic history. These can be highly destructive events and when occurring proximal to bodies of water, this collapse hazard is greatly increased by the additional threat of tsunamis generated from collapsed material entering the ocean at high velocities.
My PhD project will study three key sites of past volcanic collapse to construct better constraints on the mechanical properties involved in the initiation and control of collapse, Ritter island in Papua New Guinea, Fogo of the Cape Verde and El Hierro in the Canary Islands.
This study will include traditional and drone-based fieldwork to map the past collapses and collect samples to test the mechanical properties of the materials involved in collapse in laboratory experiments. These include material strength, permeability, porosity and friction and its response to pore fluid pressurisation. This should provide a good idea of the parameters experienced at these volcanoes during collapse.
The global importance of this research is that it will provide more understanding to the processes involved in large volcanic collapse to help improve prediction, modelling and mitigation of the effects of future collapse and tsunami disasters.