Matthew Varnam

Based in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Manchester, I am a first year NERC DTP student investigating volcanic gas emissions through the use of an SO2 camera. Volcanic eruptions affect many thousands of people every year, so new tools for understanding their processes helps prevent damage and save lives. 

My research investigates fluxes of volcanic SO2 through the use of modern ground-based UV cameras. By imaging SO2 fromvolcanic plumes, I hope to further understanding of magma ascent dynamics with the aim to better forecast and monitor eruptions. ‘SO2 cameras’, developed in part by my main supervisor (Prof. Mike Burton), offer substantially better temporal resolution than previous devices, allowing a better comparison to other volcano geophysical measurements. This work is partially funded by the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), which operates the Etnean Observatory in Sicily, where much of my research will be conducted. 

Prior to starting my PhD, I completed an Integrated Master’s degree at The University of Cambridge, specialising my fourth-year project on the volcanic seismicity of Kilauea. For part of this project, I volunteered at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory under Dr. Weston Thelen; experience that I hope to draw on for my PhD. Follow my progress on twitter @Volcano_Matt.