December 11, 2018

Holly Unwin

Photo of Holly Unwin

Fracking magma: field and experimental investigation of hydrofracture in volcanic systems

Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University


I am a volcanology PhD student at Lancaster University investigating the formation and evolution of tuffisite veins. I completed my undergraduate masters in Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, where my masters’ project was developing the process of equal channel angular pressing for the deformation of geological materials. During my time in Oxford I was also involved in expeditions investigating environmental change in Arctic Norway.

My research project:

My PhD project is investigating tuffisite veins, which are particle-filled hydraulic fractures formed around and within volcanic conduits. Tuffisites are thought to be key eruption controls, allowing for gas escape, but the veins can become blocked, preventing the release of pressure and driving explosions. Using a combination of textural analysis, fieldwork, and experimentation, my project aims to constrain hydraulic fracture propagation and evolution.

You can find out more about Holly’s research by watching the animation video below;