I study the physical processes driving volcanic eruptions. The primary goal of my research is to combine observational and numerical modeling techniques to develop a more complete understanding of active volcanism. I am interested in how prolonged eruptions progress over time and change their style of activity. This broad topic includes projects investigating lava dome growth and collapse, lava flow emplacement, and transitions between effusive and explosive activitity. By understanding why and how a volcano erupts, I aim to help improve forecasting and management of the numerous hazards associated with eruptions.
My research thus far has focused on recent eruptions at two volcanoes in Indonesia: Merapi on Java and Sinabung on Sumatra. At Merapi, I am pairing time-series of satellite thermal remote sensing observations with a numerical model of magma ascent in a volcanic conduit to investigate the conduit processes associated with variations in eruption rate. At the ongoing eruption of Sinabung, I am using photogrammetry techniques to build terrain models of the erupted lava in order to understand the mechanisms of lava emplacement and collapse.