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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Volcanology Research Group

Group Statement

The Durham Volcanology Group has expanded dramatically over the last five years, and has rapidly established a reputation as one of the UK's leading volcanology research groups. The group includes specialists in:

  • Igneous geochemistry and petrology;
  • Physical volcanology (experimental and numerical approaches);
  • Field volcanology;
  • Volcanic hazard and risk;
  • Impacts of volcanic eruptions on climate;
  • Applied aspects of volcanology and igneous petrology.

We exploit this diversity of expertise to address problems in volcanology that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Our work is supported by excellent facilities for analytical geochemistry, ash analysis, and numerical and laboratory modelling of volcanic processes.

We are a vigorous and collaborative group; our group identity is underpinned by a lively, weekly meeting of staff, postdocs and graduate students. DVG is also a founder member of the Volcanology and Igneous Petrology (VIP) group, which brings together volcanologists from universities across the Northern UK for regular one-day meetings. We engage with stakeholders within and beyond the academic community, collaborating with volcano monitoring and hazard management groups around the world, informing governmental and NGO policy on volcanic hazard and risk, and engaging with the public through local outreach, and via national and international media.

We welcome approaches from prospective post-doctoral researchers, and post-graduate students at both PhD level and Masters level. Please see our Masters by Research (Volcanology) page for current opportunities.


Academic Staff

Research Staff

Research Student



Zhang, J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Cooper, G.F., Davidson, J.P. & Macpherson, C.G. (2017) Magma mush chemistry at subduction zones, revealed by new melt major element inversion from calcic amphiboles. American Mineralogist 102, 1353-1367.

Jones, T.J., Llewellin, E.W., Houghton, B.F., Brown, R.J., and Vye-Brown, C. (2017) Proximal lava drainage controls on basaltic fissure eruptions dynamics. Bulletin of Volcanology., 79, 81.

Wadsworth, F.B., Vasseur, J., Llewellin, E.W., Dobson, K.J., Colombier, M., von Aulock, F.W., Fife, J.L., Wiesmaier, S., Hess, K-U, Scheu, B., Lavallée, Y., and Dingwell, D.B. (2017). Topological inversions in coalescing granular media control fluid-flow regimes. Physical Review E., 96, Art. No. 033113.

Gardner, J.E., Llewellin, E.W., Watkins, J.M., and Befus, K.S. (2017) Formation of obsidian pyroclasts by sintering of ash particles in the volcanic conduit. Earth and Planetary Science Letters., 459, 252-263.

Zhang, J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Cooper, G.F., Davidson, J.P. & Macpherson, C.G. (2017) Magma mush chemistry at subduction zones, revealed by new melt major element inversion from calcic amphiboles. American Mineralogist 102, 1353-1367.

Magni, V., Allen, M.B., van Hunen, J, & Bouilhol, P. (2017) Continental underplating after slab break-off. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 474, 59-67.

Zhang, Y.Q., Song, S.G., Yang, L.M., Niu, Y.L., Allen, M.B., Su, L. & Xu, X. (2017) High-Mg komatiitic basalts in ophiolites from the Lajishan Accretionary Belt, Qilian Orogen: Evidence for high-T mantle melts in a Cambrian oceanic plateau. Lithos, 278-281, 97-110

Scarlato, P., Mollo, S., Del Bello, E., von Quadt, A., Brown, R.J., Gutierrez, E., Martinez-Hackert, B. and Papale, P., 2017. The 2013 eruption of Chaparrastique volcano (El Salvador): Effects of magma storage, mixing, and decompression. Chemical Geology, 448, pp.110-122.

Pedersen, G.B.M., Höskuldsson, A., Dürig, T., Thordarson, T., Jonsdottir, I., Riishuus, M.S., Óskarsson, B.V., Dumont, S., Magnússon, E., Gudmundsson, M.T. and Sigmundsson, F., Drouin V.J.P.B., Gallagher, C., Askew, R., Gudnason, J., Moreland, W.M., NIkkola, P., Reynolds, H.I., Schmith, J., 2017. Lava field evolution and emplacement dynamics of the 2014–2015 basaltic fissure eruption at Holuhraun, Iceland. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 340, pp.155-169.


Humphreys, M.C.S., Edmonds, M. & Klöcking, M.S (2016). The validity of plagioclase-melt geothermometry for degassing-driven magma crystallization. American Mineralogist 101, 769-779.

Wadsworth, F.B., Vasseur, J., Llewellin, E.W., Schauroth, J., Dobson, K.J., Scheu, B., and Dingwell, D.B. (2016) Sintering of viscous droplets under surface tension. Proceedings of the Royal Society A., 472, Art. No. 20150780.

Stock, M.J., Humphreys, M.C.S., Smith, V.C., Isaia, R. & Pyle, D. (2016) Late-stage volatile saturation as a potential trigger for explosive volcanic eruptions. Nature Geoscience 9, 249-255

Tomašek, I., Horwell, C.J., Damby, D.E., Barošová, H., Geers, C., Petri-Fink, A., Rothen-Rutishauser, B. and Clift, M.J., 2016. Combined exposure of diesel exhaust particles and respirable Soufrière Hills volcanic ash causes a (pro-) inflammatory response in an in vitro multicellular epithelial tissue barrier model. Particle and fibre toxicology, 13(1), p.67.

Chamberlain, K.J., Barclay, J., Preece, K., Brown, R.J. & Davidson, J.P., 2016. Origin and evolution of silicic magmas at ocean islands: Perspectives from a zoned fall deposit on Ascension Island, South Atlantic. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 327, pp.349-360.

Coumans, J.P. and Stix, J., 2016. Caldera collapse at near-ridge seamounts: an experimental investigation. Bulletin of Volcanology, 78(10), p.70.

Coumans, J.P., Stix, J., Clague, D.A., Minarik, W.G. and Layne, G.D., 2016. Melt-rock interaction near the Moho: Evidence from crystal cargo in lavas from near-ridge seamounts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 191, pp.139-164.


Zhang, J., Davidson, J. P., Humphreys, M. C. S., Macpherson, C. G., & Neill, I. (2015). Magmatic Enclaves and Andesitic Lavas from Mt. Lamington, Papua New Guinea: Implications for Recycling of Earlier-fractionated Minerals through Magma Recharge. Journal of Petrology, 56(11), 2223-2256.

Truby, J. M., Mueller, S. P., Llewellin, E. W., & Mader, H. M. (2015, January). The rheology of three-phase suspensions at low bubble capillary number. In Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences (Vol. 471, No. 2173, p. 20140557). The Royal Society.

Del Bello, E., Lane, S. J., James, M. R., Llewellin, E. W., Taddeucci, J., Scarlato, P., & Capponi, A. (2015). Viscous plugging can enhance and modulate explosivity of strombolian eruptions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 423, 210-218.

Baldini, J. U., Brown, R. J., & McElwaine, J. N. (2015). Was millennial scale climate change during the Last Glacial triggered by explosive volcanism?. Scientific reports, 5.


Emeleus, C. H., & Troll, V. R. (2014). The Rum Igneous Centre, Scotland. Mineralogical Magazine, 78(4), 805-839.

Millet, M. A., Tutt, C. M., Handler, M. R., & Baker, J. A. (2014). Processes and time scales of dacite magma assembly and eruption at Tauhara volcano, Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15(1), 213-237.

Pacey, A., Macpherson, C. G., & McCaffrey, K. J. (2013). Linear volcanic segments in the central Sunda Arc, Indonesia, identified using Hough transform analysis: implications for arc lithosphere control upon volcano distribution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 369, 24-33.

Ekici, T., Macpherson, C. G., Otlu, N., & Fontignie, D. (2014). Foreland Magmatism during the Arabia–Eurasia Collision: Pliocene–Quaternary Activity of the Karacada─č Volcanic Complex, SW Turkey. Journal of Petrology, 55(9), 1753-1777.

McIntosh, I. M., Llewellin, E. W., Humphreys, M. C. S., Nichols, A. R. L., Burgisser, A., Schipper, C. I., & Larsen, J. F. (2014). Distribution of dissolved water in magmatic glass records growth and resorption of bubbles. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 401, 1-11.

Brown, R. J., Blake, S., Thordarson, T., & Self, S. (2014). Pyroclastic edifices record vigorous lava fountains during the emplacement of a flood basalt flow field, Roza Member, Columbia River Basalt Province, USA. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 126(7-8), 875-891