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IGA lecture – 8 December 2021, 7pm: Virtual Volcanoes: Predicting When a Volcano Turns Deadly on Earth and Other Planets By Dr Claire Harnett (UCD)

8 December, 2021 @ 7:00 PM 8:00 PM GMT

Image Credit: © Alexander Schimmeck/Unsplash – bgs.ac.uk


Volcanic instability can lead to explosive activity and pyroclastic flow generation, both during an ongoing eruption and outside of active lava extrusion, making edifice instability one of the most deadly consequences of volcanic activity. The mechanisms linked to a collapse are, however, still poorly understood and very few numerical models exist that investigate the actual collapse of a volcanic dome after emplacement. Using a novel technique, I investigate volcanic dome growth, as well as investigating the conditions that promote collapse, both on Earth and on other planetary environments. I show that volcanic dome collapse exhibits many features similar to common landslides and, by investigating strain patterns within the dome, I use modelling to understand features that normally elude field observations.


Dr Claire Harnett has a BSc from the University of Portsmouth (UK) and completed her PhD at the University of Leeds (UK) where she looked at understanding the mechanisms of collapse at lava domes. Claire now works as an Assistant Professor at UCD, where she teaches geology for engineers, as well as field skills and investigating sedimentary deposits. Claire explores volcanic instability in a broader context, for example in successive eruptions, in the context of caldera collapse, or in planetary environments. Her main research interest is bridging the gap between volcanology and engineering in order to understand volcanic stability hazards. When she’s not simulating virtual volcanoes, she can be found squashing rocks in the lab instead!

Date and Time: Wednesday, 8 December 2021, between 19:00 pm and 20:00 via Zoom.

To Register: send an e-mail to info@geology.ie

A Zoom link will be sent on the day to those who have registered.

Image Credit: © Alexander Schimmeck/Unsplash – bgs.ac.uk