Research scholarship in Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences-Understanding Explosive Volcanoes,Macquarie University,Australia

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Project Description:

Yasur Volcano on Tanna island, in Vanuatu is one of the most active volcanoes in the world with several strombolian eruptions every hour. It has been in almost continuous eruption for at least the last 300 years, when Captain Cook arrived on the island. A deep canyon which was cut after a flooding event in 2000 has exposed tephra sequences from Yasur and proto-cones spanning the last 1000 years providing a unique opportunity to examine the temporal evolution of this volcano. A continuous sequence of tephra are available at Yasur from ~20 ka.

The PhD candidate will conduct detailed volcanological study on the deposits at Yasur to define chronostratigraphic horizons spanning the last 20 ka. Characterisation of the deposits will enable determination of temporal changes in eruptive conditions/environment and fragmentation processes. Identification of past magmatic cycles and degree of explosivity, will be compared with present day eruption cycles of larger sub-Pilinian eruptions which presently occur on a c. 30 yr cycle. The data will provide a deeper understanding of the evolution of explosive volcanoes and yield invaluable information for future hazard forecasting at Yasur. The volcanological study will be complimented by a detailed petrographical, mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic study of the deposits and enable an extraordinary picture of eruptive history and geochemical evolution to be determined.

The candidate will undertake field work and receive training in advanced volcanological and geochemical/isotopic analytical techniques.

Initial inquiries should be directed to the principal supervisor, Professor Simon Turner, email: simon.turner@mq.edu.au, phone: 02 9850 8363

The 2010 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $22,500 pa tax exempt for 3.5 years.

Application Deadline:31 July 2010

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