My research examines the emission, processing and deposition of volcanic gases and particles. The broad aim is to gain novel insights into volcanic processes and to investigate the atmospheric, environmental and human impacts of active volcanism:
Monitoring volcanic emissions: Remote sensing and direct sampling techniques (e.g., spectroscopic, electrochemical, wet chemical) are used to characterise gas and particle emissions from active volcanoes. These results offer insights into magmatic processes, volcanic contributions to biogeochemical cycles and the environmental behaviour of volcanic emissions.
The magma-air interface: Extreme thermal and redox gradients at interfaces between the magma and the atmosphere drive the conversion of elements from less reactive (e.g., HBr, HCl, N2, SO2, Hg0) to more reactive forms (e.g., Br, Cl, NO, SO42-, HgII). The chemistry of the magma-air interface is investigated using high-temperature equilibrium models.
Atmospheric chemistry and volcanoes: Volcanic emissions play a key role in maintaining the Earth’s atmosphere. Species of atmospheric relevance include SO42- (which promotes heterogeneous chemistry in volcanic plumes, and acts as a CCN) and reactive Br (which results in tropospheric ozone depletion). Field measurements and chemical models are used to understand the relationships between atmospheric chemistry and active volcanism.
Biological impacts of active volcanism: Research has focused on the dispersion, deposition and vegetation uptake of volcanogenic heavy metals (e.g., Hg, Pb). A further interest is the lasting respiratory hazard to humans posed by ash deposition from explosive volcanic eruptions.