Tuesday 6 May 8.00 pm Royal Society Room
Professor Jocelyn McPhie is a geologist specialising in volcanology. She completed undergraduate and post-graduate degrees at Macquarie University and the University of New England, followed by a Fulbright Fellowship in the USA, a von Humboldt Fellowship in Germany, and a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in Canberra. She then joined the University of Tasmania where she is currently the Head of Earth Sciences. She teaches in the undergraduate program, and conducts research in physical volcanology and links between volcanic and ore-forming hydrothermal processes. Her expertise in unravelling complicated volcanic successions has led to numerous consultancies conducted for companies exploring for ore deposits in volcanic regions.
Volcanoes on land regularly capture our attention, usually because they have produced spectacular or destructive eruptions. Land volcanoes have also been the focus of conventional volcanological research. However, volcanoes on the modern seafloor are more abundant than those on land, and submarine volcanic successions dominate the rocks that form the continents. Submarine volcanoes are also closely associated with important metal ore deposits. Research on underwater eruptions uses data from a combination of field work, modelling, and experiments. Of particular importance for eruption dynamics are the different physical properties of water versus air as the medium in which eruptions operate. Research underway at UTas has demonstrated that these physical properties have a major impact on subaqueous explosive eruptions, leading to the definition of a new eruption style. Our current research is focussed on devising a practical, intensity-based classification of submarine eruptions that will streamline how we communicate and allow identification of key research questions going forward.