Gareth FABBRO

Research:

Caldera-forming eruptions are among the most destructive phenomena on Earth, however the processes that precede them are poorly understood. The build-up to a caldera-forming eruption has never been recorded using modern geophysical equipment, therefore we need another way of investigating what occurs beneath these volcanoes before such catastrophic eruptions. Studying the magma discharged during past eruptions can provide a window into the dynamics of caldera-forming magma reservoirs.

My research focuses on understanding how the plumbing systems of caldera volcanoes works. In particular, I would like to know why caldera volcanoes sometimes have periods of frequent, small eruptions, yet sometimes erupt catastrophically. Are there differences in the plumbing systems of these volcanoes prior to catastrophic, caldera-forming eruptions? Could we detect these differences with our current volcano monitoring techniques? Rabaul, in Papua New Guinea, provides a perfect opportunity to attempt to answer these questions, as it has had repeated cycles of caldera formation interspersed with periods of more gentle volcanism. Using the petrology and geochemistry of the deposits at Rabaul, I aim to gain insight into the what controls the caldera cycle, which would be useful when forecasting the future activity of restless calderas around the world.

In addition to my work on Rabaul, I am also responsible for the Laser Ablation ICP-MS at EOS. In this capacity I have collaborated with people working on a range of different projects, from estimating timescales of magmatic processes at Hawaii, to using variations of trace element concentrations in corals as environmental proxies.

Education:

2010-2014

PhD: The Timescales of magmatic processes prior to a caldera-forming eruption
Supervisors: Tim Druitt and Fidel Costa
Laboratoire magmas et volcans, Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France

2009-2010 MSci (Hons): Geological Sciences
Thesis: Degassing and deformation of the Pantelleria Magma Chamber
Supervisor: Marie Edmonds
Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, UK
2006-2009 BA (Hons): Natural Sciences
Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, UK