I am a field-based volcanologist with active interests in aeolian geomorphology and planetary analogs. The questions I address start in the field and focus on understanding the hazards and inner workings of volcanoes and how volcanic landscapes are modified by the wind. Some core themes in our research efforts are:
Magmatism and volcanism in volcanic arcs - Cause and consequences of episodic behaviour of arcs; steady state vs flare-up modes
Physical volcanology - dynamics of pyroclastic density currents, lahar sedimentology, eruption and emplacement of crystal-rich silicic lava
Petrology of explosive volcanic eruptions - zoning in magma chambers, evidence recharge as an eruption trigger/initiator, time-scales of magma ascent
Explosive and effusive eruptions of crystal–rich lava - post-caldera eruptions, feedbacks between vesiculation-ascent-rate and crystal framework integrity
Caldera (super)volcanism - Thermomechanical feedbacks in initiating catastrophic eruptions, resurgence at large calderas
Volcano-plutonic connection - Architecture of pre-eruptive magma systems, magma residence, geophysical, chronologic, and petrologic insights
An enduring theme of our volcanological studies has been comprehensive field studies that provide the volcanological and stratigraphic framework for subsequent detailed chronochemical studies that reveal pre-eruptive storage time scales and magmatic architecture of magma reservoirs and their geophysical expressions. Utlimately we have tried to use this insight to understand thresholds for eruption vs storage of magma and the character of the eventual eruptions. To investigate these phenomena I use the volcanologists toolbox (Petrology (particularly microanalysis), Geochemistry, Physical Volcanology, Geochronology, Remotely Sensed data, Geophysics) at all different scales. I like to think of this as "Volcano Forensics" - a CSI approach to volcanology. I am not an “expert” in any particular analytical technique, but I look for different tools and creative solutions for problems of interest most often in collaboration with more knowledgeable colleagues, many of whom are early career folk.
Our current research projects take us to the Andes (Chile, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia), Indonesia (Toba, Sinabung volcanoes), China/North Korea (Changbaishan), and Japan (Unzen and SW Hokkaido) and we collaborate with excellent labs at my home institution of Oregon State University, and many others around the world.
This video is an outreach piece we made for our work at the Toba caldera. It features former PhD. student Adonara Mucek.
As a volcanologist, why am I interested in aeolian geomorphology? While studying volcanic features in the high Andes, we couldn't ignore the fact that wind was producing an other-world landscape that was a valuable analog for the surface of Mars. Starting with yardangs, we have begun to address how the wind erodes and modifies high desert volcanic landscapes. Our latest work is trying to understand how gravel dominated bedforms form and rates of aeolian erosion of ignimbrite. We apply our insights into how aeolian processes might be operating on other planetary surfaces, particularly Mars.
The broader impacts of our work relate to volcanic hazards, planetary surface processes, volcanism and climate, and Earth Science Education and Outreach (Visit our VolcanoWorld website). I am also committed to undergraduate research particularly for those from under-represented communities through activities that increase equity, access, and inclusion in the Earth Sciences - see our efforts through the Increasing Diversity in Earth Sciences and the LBOS Geobridge programs.
B.Sc (Hons) Geology, University of Southampton, United Kingdom, 1983
PhD Earth Sciences, Open University, United Kingdom, 1987
2016-2019 ( I was on Sabbatical 2019-2020)
GEO 495 – Field Camp (Summer 2016, 2019)
GEO 627 – Advanced Volcanology (Fall 2016, 2018)
GEO 201 – Physical Geology (Winter annually)
GEO 305 – Living with Active Cascade Volcanoes (Spring 2018)
GEO 499 – Surface Processes on the Terrestrial Planets (Spring 2018)
GEO 427 – Volcanology (Spring 2018)
Current Graduate Students
Sarah Lapinski (PhD) Starts Fall 2020...something really exciting to do with magmas, volcanoes, and hazards
Charles Lewis (PhD) Starts Fall 2020...something really exciting to do with magmas, volcanoes, and hazards
Abdullah Alohali (MS) Volcanic Hazards of Harrat Khaybar, Saudi Arabia
Jordan Lubbers (PhD) Storage Conditions in Large Silicic Magma Reservoirs (co-advisor with Adam Kent)
Jason Kaiser, Associate Professor, University of Southern Utah
Chris Folkes, Geologist, Geological Survey of New South Wales
Rodrigo Iriarte , Professor, Universidad Major San Andres, La Paz, Bolivia,
Jamie Kern, Informal Educator, National Park Service
Casey Tierney, Visiting Asisstant Professor, Central Washington University
Chris Harpel, VDAP, USGS, CVO Vancouver, WA
Mangon Abot, Program Head, Malaysian Geological Survey,
Hosted/Sponsored Post docs / Research Visitors
Shimpei Uesawa (2017-2018) CRIEPI, Japan
Diane Smith (2019) Trinity University, TX (Sabbatical Visit)
Johan Varekamp (2017) Wesleyan University, CT, USA (Sabbatical Visit)
Seiko Yamasaki (2016-2017) Institute of Earthquake and Volcano Geology, Geological Survey of Japan
Akihiko Tomiya (2014-2015) Institute of Earthquake and Volcano Geology, Geological Survey of Japan
Bo Pan - (2013-2014 and 2018-2019) Chinese Earthquake Administration, Beijing
Mauro Spagnuolo (2012 - 2014) - CONICET Research Fellow and Instructor at Universidad Buenos Aires, Argentina
Selected papers since 2018 (Student authors identified with *; Post doc/Early Career colleague ‡ )
Solada, K. E.*, Reilly, B.T., Stoner, J.S., de Silva, S.L., Mucek, A.E.*, Hatfield, R.G., Pratomo, I., Jamil, R., and Setianto, B., 2020. Paleomagnetic Observations From Lake Sediments on Samosir Island, Toba Caldera, Indonesia, and Its Late Pleistocene Resurgence. Quaternary Research 95. Cambridge University Press: 97–112. doi:10.1017/qua.2020.13.
Pan, B.‡, de Silva, S.L., Xu, J., Liu, S., and Xu, D., 2020. Late Pleistocene to Present Day Eruptive History of the Changbaishan-Tianchi Volcano, China/DPRK: New Field, Geochronological and Chemical Constraints. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 399 (July). Elsevier B.V.: 106870. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2020.106870.
Báez, W.‡, de Silva, S.L., Chiodi, A., Bustos, E.**, Giordano, G., Arnosio, M., Suzaño, N., Viramonte, J.G., Norini, G., and Groppelli, G., 2020. “Pulsating Flow Dynamics of Sustained, Forced Pyroclastic Density Currents: Insights From a Facies Analysis of the Campo De La Piedra Pómez Ignimbrite, Southern Puna, Argentina” Bulletin of Volcanology, 1–32. doi:10.1007/s00445-020-01385-
Báez, W.‡, Bustos, E.‡, Chiodi, A., Reckziegel, F., Arnosio, M., de Silva, S.L., Giordano, G., Viramonte, J. G., Sampietro-Vattuone, M. M., and Peña-Monné, J. L., 2020. Eruptive Style and Flow Dynamics of the Pyroclastic Density Currents Related to the Holocene Cerro Blanco Eruption (Southern Puna Plateau, Argentina).” Journal of South American Earth Sciences 98. Elsevier: 102482. doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2019.102482.
Burns, D.H.‡, de Silva, S.L., Tepley, F.J., and Schmitt, A.K., 2019. Chasing the mantle: Deciphering cryptic mantle signals through Earth’s thickest continental magmatic arc. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2019.115985
Perkins, J. P.‡, N.J. Finnegan, S. L. de Silva, and M. J. Willis. 2019. “Controls on Eolian Landscape Evolution in Fractured Bedrock.” Geophysical Research Letters 46 (21). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: 12012–20. doi:10.1029/2019GL083955.
Sacchi, M, Giuseppe De Natale, V Spiess, L Steinmann, V Acocella, M Corradino, S.L. de Silva, et. al. 2019. “A Roadmap for Amphibious Drilling at the Campi Flegrei Caldera: Insights From a MagellanPlus Workshop.” Scientific Drilling 7 (November): 1–18. doi:10.5194/sd-7-1-2019.
Okumura, S., de Silva, S. L., Nakamura, M., and Osamu, S., 2019. Caldera-Forming Eruptions of Mushy Magma Modulated by Feedbacks Between Ascent Rate, Gas Retention/Loss and Bubble/Crystal Framework Interaction. Nature Publishing Group, October. Springer US, 1–12. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-52272-9.
Bustos, E‡, W Báez‡, G Norini, M Arnosio, and S L de Silva. 2018. “The Geological and Structural Evolution of the Long-Lived Miocene-Pleistocene La Hoyada Volcanic Complex in the Geodynamic Framework of the Central Andes, Argentina.” Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, July. Elsevier B.V., 1–22. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.07.010.
de Silva S.L., and Kay, S.M., 2018. Turning up the heat: High Flux magmatism in the Central Andes. Elements v. 14, No. 4, p.245 - 250
Pritchard, M.E., deSilva,S.L., Michelfelder, G.‡, Zandt, G., McNutt, S.R., Gottsmann, J., West, M.E., et al. 2018. Synthesis: PLUTONS: Investigating the Relationship Between Pluton Growth and Volcanism in the Central Andes. Geosphere, March, 1–29. doi:10.1130/GES01578.1.
Grocke, S.B*, deSilva,S.L., Wallace,P.J., Cottrell, E., and Schmitt, A.K., 2018. Catastrophic Caldera-Forming (CCF) Monotonous Silicic Magma Reservoirs: Constraints From Volatiles in Melt Inclusions From the 3·49 Ma Tara Supereruption, Guacha II Caldera, SW Bolivia. Journal of Petrology 58 (11): 2115–42. doi:10.1093/petrology/egy003.
de Silva, S.L. and Bailey, J.E., 2018. Some unique surface patterns on ignimbrites on Earth: A “bird's eye” view as a guide for planetary mappers, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. v. 342, p. 47-60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.06.009
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