Research interests


Current work and student projects


Lunar Crater Volcanic Field – This project focuses on the physical volcanology and relationships between volcanism and structure in a medium sized intraplate volcanic field dominated by monogenetic activity.  The work is part of a broader effort in the UB volcanology group to understand the plumbing of mafic systems, transitions in eruptive styles, and the relationship between monogenetic and polygenetic volcanism.  This research is the primary focus of Ph.D. student Amanda Hintz, and of M.S. students Peter Johnson, Jamal Amin, and Andrew Harp and is being conducted in collaboration with Joaquin Cortes (at UB), Elizabeth Widom (Miami University of Ohio), and Eugene Smith (University of Nevada – Las Vegas).


Phreatomagmatic processes – Using field studies and experimental approaches to understand the energetics of explosions, and resulting deposits and landforms, caused by interaction of magma and water.  Current work involves detonating buried explosives to study crater formation and subsequent excavation to study the subsurface structures (in nature referred to as diatremes) that are produced.  Future work will include large-scale experiments mixing magma and water.  Collaborators on this project include James White (New Zealand), Pierre-Simon Ross (Canada), Jacopo Taddeucci (Italy) and Ingo Sonder (UB).


Volcanic hazards in interior USA – In this project we are integrating volcanic, geochemical, and geochronological data from the entire western USA to assess hazards associated with intraplate volcanism.  Collaborators on this work include Joaquin Cortes (at UB), Michael Ort (Northern Arizona University), and Amanda Hintz (Utah Geological Survey).


VHub – Cyberinfrastructure for Volcano Eruption and Hazards Modeling and Simulation – VHub (see vhub.org) is a major effort funded by the National Science Foundation with the overarching goal to provide a mechanism for globally collaborative research and development of computational models of volcanic processes and their integration with complex geospatial, observational, and experimental data.  VHub is promoting seamless accessibility of appropriate models and data to organizations around the world charged with assessing and reducing risk, reaching across resource levels and cultural boundaries.  VHub is an international effort and currently includes partners in Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand, Japan, and Mexico, and is linked with other large efforts such as the Global Volcano Model (http://www.globalvolcanomodel.org).