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Durham University

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Dr. Charlotte Vye-Brown

Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences

(email at


Senior Volcanologist, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh - 2012-present
Volcanologist, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh - 2008-2012
PhD, The Open University, 'Flow field formation and compositional variations of flood basalt eruptions' - 2005-2008
Geologist, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh - 2000-2005

Research interests:

- Lava flow emplacement and architecture of flood basalt provinces
- Volcanic and magmatic evolution of the East African Rift
- Volcanic hazards and their impacts
- Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding and mitigating volcanic risk
- Science into policy and communicating uncertainty

Current projects:

- Rift Volcanism: Past, Present, Future (RiftVolc)

- Volcanology of Ascension Island


Catherine Gallagher, Durham University and University of Iceland

Past students:

Sarah Medynski - CRNS-Nancy, Barbara Hofmann - University of Leeds, Elspeth Robertson - Bristol University, Peter Fawdon - Open University, Nathan Magnall - Lancaster University, Tom Jones - Durham University

Selected recent publications:

Vye-Brown, C., Barry, T.L. and Self, S., 2018. Revealing emplacement dynamics of a simple flood basalt eruption unit using systematic compositional heterogeneities. In: Poland, M.P., Garcia, M.O., Camp, V.E., Grunder, A. (Eds.) Field Volcanology: A Tribute to the Distinguished Career of Don Swanson. Geological Society of America Special Paper 538(2)

Hutchison, W., Mather, T.A., Pyle, D.M., Boyce, A.J., Gleeson, M.L., Yirgu, G., Blundy, J.D., Ferguson, D.J., Vye-Brown, C., Millar, I.L. and Sims, K.W., 2018. The evolution of magma during continental rifting: New constraints from the isotopic and trace element signatures of silicic magmas from Ethiopian volcanoes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 489, pp.203-218.

Jones, T.J., Llewellin, E.W., Houghton, B.F., Brown, R.J. and Vye-Brown, C., 2017. Proximal lava drainage controls on basaltic fissure eruption dynamics. Bulletin of Volcanology, 79(11), p.81.

Magnall, N., James, M.R., Tuffen, H. and Vye-Brown, C., 2017. Emplacing a cooling-limited rhyolite lava flow: similarities with basaltic lava flows. Frontiers in Earth Science, 5, p.44.

Vye-Brown, C., Medynski, S., Smith, K.B., Field, L., Hofmann, B., Wright, T. 2016. Geological map of the Dabbahu (Manda-Hararo) Rift, Afar, Ethiopia, 1:100,000 scale (2nd Edition). British Geological Survey

Vye-Brown, C., Sparks, R.S.J., Lewi, E., Mewa, G., Asrat, A., Loughlin, S.C., Mee, K. and Wright, T.J. 2016. Ethiopian volcanic hazards: a changing research landscape. In Wright, T.J., Ayele, A., Ferguson, D.J., Kidane, T. & Vye- Brown, C. (Eds) Magmatism, Rifting and Active Volcanism. Geological Society of London Special Publication, 420.

Medynski, S., Pik, R., Burnard, P., Dumont, S., Grandin, R., Williams, A., Blard, P.-H., Schimmelpfennig, I., Vye- Brown, C., France, L., Ayalew, D., Benedetti, L., Yirgu, G., ASTER team. 2016. Magmatic cycles pace tectonic and morphological expression of rifting (Afar Depression, Ethiopia). Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Robertson, E.A.M., Biggs, J., Cashman, K.V., Floyd, M.A. and Vye-Brown, C., 2016. Influence of regional tectonics and pre-existing structures on the formation of elliptical calderas in the Kenyan Rift. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 420(1), pp.43-67.

Robertson, E., Biggs, J., Edmonds, M., Clor, L., Fischer, T.P., Vye-Brown, C., Kianji, G., Koros, W. and Kandie, R., 2016. Diffuse degassing at Longonot volcano, Kenya: Implications for CO2 flux in continental rifts. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 327, pp.208-222.

Loughlin, S.C., Vye-Brown, C., Sparks, R.S.J., Brown, S.K. et al. 2015. An introduction to global volcanic hazard and risk. In S.C. Loughlin et al., (Eds) Global volcanic hazards and risk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 76-167.

Brown, S.K., Loughlin, S.C., Sparks, R.S.J., Vye-Brown, C., et al 2015. Global volcanic hazard and risk. In S.C. Loughlin et al., (Eds) Global volcanic hazards and risk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 76-167.

Brown, S.K., Sparks, R.S.J., Mee, K., Ilyinskaya, E., Jenkins, S.F., Loughlin, S.C., Vye-Brown, C., et al., 2015. Country and regional profiles of volcanic hazard and risk. In S.C.Loughlin et al. (Eds) Global volcanic hazards and risk. Cambridge University Press (electronic resource).

Medynski, S., Pik, R., Burnard, P., Vye-Brown, C., France, L., Schimmelpfennig, I., Whaler, K., Johnson, N., Benedetti, L., Ayelew, D. & Yirgu, G. 2015. Stability of rift axis magma reservoirs: Spatial and temporal evolution of magma supply in the Dabbahu rift segment (Afar, Ethiopia) over the past 30 kyr. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 409, 278-289.

Vye-Brown, C. 2014. 'Capacity building and preparedness for multi-hazards in Ethiopia' workshop report. British Geological Survey Open File Report (OR/14/059)

Vye-Brown, C., Crummy, J., Smith, K., Mruma, A., & Kabelwa, H. 2014. Volcanic hazards in Tanzania. British Geological Survey, 29pp. (OR/14/005)

Vye-Brown, C, Self, S, Barry, T L. 2013. Architecture and emplacement of flood basalt flow fields: case studies from the Columbia River Basalt Group, NW USA. Bulletin of Volcanology, 75:697.

Vye-Brown, C., Gannoun, A., Burton, K.W., Barry, T.L., Self, S. 2013. Osmium isotope variations accompanying the eruption of a single lava flow field in the Columbia River Flood Basalt Province. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 368:183-194.

Medynski, S, Pik, R, Burnard, P. Williams, A, Vye-Brown, C, Ferguson, D, Blard, P -H, France, L, Yirgu, G, Seid, J I, Ayalew, D, Calvert, A. 2013. Controls on magmatic cycles and development of rift topography of the Manda Hararo segment (Afar, Ethiopia): Insights from cosmogenic 3He investigation of landscape evolution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 367:133-145.

Loughlin, S. C., Aspinall, W. P. A., Vye-Brown, C., Baxter, P., Schmidt, A., Witham, C. 2012. Large Magnitude fissure eruptions in Iceland: source characterisation, Report for Civil Contingencies Secretariat (Cabinet Office), BGS Open Report OR/12/098.