Mechanical and Geological Model Analogues Laboratory

Room A4.14, Jane Herdman Building

The Mechanical and Geological Model Analogues (MAGMA) Laboratory was established in 2013 and is an important research facility within the Volcanology group.

The laboratory

The MAGMA lab is based on the fourth floor of the Jane Herdman Building, and offers space for preparing, running and monitoring a range of geological analogue experiments.  It is a Laser Controlled Area (LCA), in collaboration with the School of Engineering.

Analogue experiment set-up.

Analogue experiment set-up.


  • New Wave Solo PIV system with a twin-head 50 mJ 532 nm Nd:YAG laser for Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Digital Image Correlation (DIC).
  • Dantec CCD cameras and filters.
  • Williams industrial refrigerators.
  • Various fluid injection equipment, including syringe pumps.
  • A range of clear-Perspex tanks and platforms for analogue experiments.
  • Access to a High-Speed camera.
  • Several D-SLR cameras, HD camcorders and tripods.
  • Access to thermographic cameras via the Experimental Volcanology Laboratory.
  • High-spec Desktop computer.
  • Specialist computer software, including COMSOL Multiphysics, Dynamic Studio and Sony Movie Studio.

Key Contacts

Dr. Janine Kavanagh, Lecturer in Geology. Email Janine

Dr. David Dennis, Lecturer in Engineering. Email David

Research Projects

Funding that supports this laboratory includes grants from The Royal Society and the University of Liverpool. This facility is central to many research goals and topics across the volcanology group, details of which can be found in our Research page.


Recent outputs can be found in the Volcanology Publications page.