Physical Volcanology and Petrology - Caroline Bouvet de Maisonneuve


The development of increasingly precise geophysical monitoring tools has led to progress in the field of eruption forecasting, but predicting the size and vigor of an eruption remains a major challenge in the assessment of risks. The vast majority of active volcanoes display wide ranges in eruption styles over long and short time scales, from effusive lava flows or dome growth to explosive Strombolian, Vulcanian, or Plinian eruptions. The long term goals of my group are to shed light on the combinations of processes and physical parameters that govern the magnitudes and styles of eruptions, and to enhance our ability to interpret geophysical and geodetic monitoring signals in terms of magmatic processes.

Our main research interests, therefore, focus on:

  • What processes control the magnitude and style of a given eruption?
  • How and why do these controlling factors change from one eruptive center to the next?
  • Why does the magnitude and style vary from eruption to eruption at a same volcano?

In addition, the fact of addressing these questions may also bring elements of response to more petrology-based problems such as: How to reconcile the plutonic and volcanic record? How and where do magmas differentiate (e.g. assimilation vs. fractional crystallization)? How do the transport, accumulation, and differentiation of magma affect the formation of continental crust?

Latest Projects

The petrology and textures of three historic eruptions of Merapi in 1872, 1942 and 1961 are compared to that of the 2006 and 2010 eruptions in order to shed light on the processes that control eruption magnitude. It appears that controls on...

We seek to understand the unrest signals of caldera-related volcanic systems. Rabaul caldera showed strong seismic activity and deformation between 1971 and 1994 before culminating in a plinian eruption in 1994. This provides a unique opportunity...

30m SRTM DEM of a volcanic chain in Central Sumatra

Sumatra hosts the volcanoes closest to Singapore and is home to some of the largest eruptions in the world. This project is the first step of a long-term effort directed towards a detailed assessment of the hazard related to Sumatran volcanoes....

We conduct a multidisciplinary study which investigates conduit and reservoir bubble dynamics through a combination of petrology, geochemistry, textural analysis, and numerical modeling.