Hello and welcome to my homepage!

I am a volcanologist and my research aims to improve our understanding of how hazardous volcanoes erupt. On this website you can find details of my current research projects, latest publications, volcano photos and media stories.

For those of you interested in a career in volcanology, we offer a unique MSc in Volcanology and Geological Hazards at Lancaster and many of our alumni go on to volcanological research.

On a different note, here's a link to the band I play with: The Balkanics

Thanks for visiting!


*25/02/2014 Congratulations to Nathan Magnall, who will join our Cordon Caulle team this October for a NERC-funded PhD in LEC looking at lava flow dynamics with myself and Mike James, plus Charlotte Vye-Brown (BGS).

*12/02/2014 I much enjoyed an evening with the Cumberland Geological Society in Keswick, talking about rhyolite. Then stuck in Cumbria overnight by severe floods and storm damage!

*04/01/2014 Paper published in Journal of Petrology on magma degassing in the AD79 eruption of Vesuvius, led by Thomas Shea (Univ. of Hawai'i).

*01/01/2014 Expedition to Chaiten and Cordon Caulle volcanoes in Chile, to see the world's youngest rhyolite. See my photo gallery here.

*17/12/2013 Ellen McGowan (PhD student, rhyolitic conduits) won the best presentation prize at the Faculty of Science and Technology Christmas Conference. Nice one Ellen!

*07/11/2013 Live interview with Jon Sopel on BBC Global TV about our research into obsidian flows, carried out in collaboration with
Mike James, Jonathan Castro and Ian Schipper.

*07/11/2013 Our research into the advancing obsidian flow at Cordon Caulle features in a BBC News story, a Lancaster University story and a blog.

*01/11/2013 Nature Communications paper about obsidian lava advance at Cordon Caulle, Chile is published.

*25/06/2013 A short film featuring rock-cooking research done by Lancastrian volcanologists.

*11/02/2013 Our observations of continued obsidian lava advance at Cordon Caulle are highlighted by NASA Earth Observatory and Live Science.

*22/01/2013 Back in Lancaster after a fantastic two week trip to Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile. Click here for a photo gallery with descriptions.

*07/01/2013 Congratulations to recent MSc graduate John Browning, who was awarded the Geoff Brown prize for best postgraduate poster presentation at the VMSG 2013 conference in Bristol for his research on vesiculation of rhyolitic melt. Click here to see his presentation and here for a smiling mugshot!

20/12/2012 Excellent description of the recent Owen et al Geology paper on Icelandic sub-ice eruptions posted here on Dr John Stevenson's volcan01010 blog

*18/12/2012 Click here to see this month's Inside Science blog from the Royal Society, featuring some of my images of volcanic glass and eruptions.

*01/11/2012 Thanks to the Royal Society for using one of my images on the cover of their Proceedings B journal!

23/08/2012 Feature in Action Network Magazine about my work on Puyehue, volcanology in general, and our unique MSc in Volcanology and Geological Hazards.

*23/07/2012 Lecture available online: my talk at the Manchester Science Festival (Oct 2011) can be viewed online on the Royal Society website.

*16/07/2012 The film about my trip to the active Chilean volcano Puyehue has featured on Volcano Live (broadcast on BBC2 on 10/07/2012). A short promotional clip is available here.

*28/06/2012 I will spend three weeks in Iceland with Lancaster PhD student Ellen McGowan, to look inside ancient rhyolite volcanoes for evidence of how magmas moves to the surface. Volcanoes visited: Torfajokull, Husafell, Skardsheidi and Krafla.

*08/05/2012 Filming completed with the BBC - a ten minute account of my January expedition to the erupting volcano Puyehue-Cordon Caulle in Chile with Jon Castro and Ian Schipper will be featured on Volcano Live (BBC2, July 9-12).

*23/04/2012 Ilana Halperin will launch her new book New Landmass/Neue Landmasse at the Berlin Museum of Medical History on 23rd April. I have contributed a chapter but sadly cannot make it to Berlin. Details of the launch are here.

*07/03/2012 Many thanks to the Royal Society for funding my proposal "Differential scanning calorimetry: Tapping the record of volcanic timescales that is frozen into glass". I will use the 50k awarded to purchase state-of-the-art thermal analysis equipment to use on volcanic rocks, as well as soils and biochars.

*10/02/2012 Applications welcome for a PhD studentship - monitoring Icelandic glacier dynamics using LiDAR. Deadline 26th February 2012.

*17/01/2012 My 2003 paper Repeated fracture and healing of silicic magma generate flow banding and earthquakes has now been cited 100 times!

*02/11/2011 I will convene a session at the EGU 2012 General Assembly in Vienna entitled Hazardous volcano-ice interactions in the past, present and future, together with Dave McGarvie and Steve Blake (OU).

*01/11/2011 The facilities and technical support at the Diamond Light Source are excellent, I look forward to carrying out more volatile micro-analysis there in the near future!

*30/10/2011 I gave a talk "Fire and Ice: What makes volcanoes dangerous?" as part of Manchester Science Festival.

*27/10/2011 Well done Jacqui Owen for your prize-winning poster at the LEC PhD poster day!

*17/08/2011 I gave an invited talk about water heterogeneity in glasses at the 2011 Goldschmidt conference in Prague.

*26/05/2011 Baby Luc is born

*16/02/2011 Congratulations to Jo Denton, who has successfully defended her thesis on Icelandic perlite and will now take up a postdoc position at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

*14/01/2011 Mike James, Jane Applegarth and myself have been awarded a NERC Small Grant (total value 65k) to study crystallisation of basaltic lava flows.

*26/12/2010 Jacqui Owen has been awarded the YSOPP Award for best student poster presentation at the 2010 EGU Assembly. You can find the story here and the link to her poster here. I am a proud PhD supervisor!

*21/11/2010 I appear in a Sunday Times feature about Royal Society research fellows

*16/05/10 Many thanks to the Royal Society for awarding me a University Research Fellowship, which will start in October 2010.

*19/04/10 My paper assessing whether climate change may make volcanoes more hazardous in the coming century is published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.

*11/02/10 I have been elected Secretary of the IAVCEI/IACS Joint Commission on Volcano-Ice Interactions. Many thanks to all who supported my nomination!

*14/01/10 Paper entitled "Magma degassing during subglacial eruptions and its use to reconstruct palaeo-ice thicknesses" accepted for publication in Earth Science Reviews.

*Sept 2009 My research on how climate change may affect hazards at ice-covered volcanoes was featured in a Nature News story

*Sept 2009 First ever measurement of 3D water concentrations in silicate glasses carried out with Kai-Uwe Hess (watch this space for updates)

*July 2009 I was at Torfajokull in Iceland looking at obsidian and ice

*04/04/09 Feature about my work on volcanic earthquakes published in NERC's Planet Earth magazine

*13/11/08 Paper on how spherulites grow in obsidian published in American Mineralogist.

*11/11/08 Paper about a subglacial eruption at Krafla, Iceland published online in Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.

*13/09/08 Baby Alec is born

*22/05/08 Paper on volcanic earthquakes published in Nature 22nd May - click here for the article and here for the news story

*18/07/08 Harry Pinkerton, Mike James, Jane Applegarth and myself have received 370 k from NERC to study basaltic lava flow dynamics.

*20/07/08 I have received a 6 k NERC new investigator grant to study degassing of rhyolitic magma in Iceland.

*Cumberland Geological Society have published the geological guidebook "Exploring Lakeland Rocks and Landscapes". Click here for information and to order a copy or purchase direct from me.

Talking about rhyolite on Volcano Live

Rhyolitic eruption, Puyehue Cordon Caulle, Chile

[modelling eruptions under ice]

[mount st helens crater]
[geochemistry of lava]

Dr. Hugh Tuffen
Royal Society University Research Fellow