Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Dr Marco Brenna

Marco BrennaBSc (University of Western Australia), PhD (Massey)

  • Igneous petrology and geochemistry
  • Volcanology
  • Magma ascent dynamics

Office - Geology Gs09
Tel:
64 3 479 5634
Email: marco.brenna (a) otago.ac.nz
ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6096-6999

Research Interests

My research spans the interface of magmatic and volcanic processes. I investigate the chemical and petrologic characteristics of igneous rocks to unravel their history. I focus mainly on intraplate alkalic systems such as the Auckland Volcanic Field or the Dunedin Volcano, but have also studied recent eruptions at calc-alkalic arc volcanoes, at Mount Tongariro and Hunga Ha’apai (Tonga). Outlined here are some of my ongoing research projects:

  • Magma generation and ascent dynamics in small-volume intraplate basaltic volcanic systems. My study of the Jeju Island intraplate volcano in South Korea left me with several questions on the mechanisms that allow small-volume and diverse magma batches to erupt in laterally and temporally dispersed volcanic systems. I am currently measuring rates of elemental diffusion in xenocrystic mantle olivines in the Auckland Volcanic Field to estimate rates of magma ascent. The next step will be to model the process of magma accumulation in the mantle and mechanisms triggering ascent.
  • Formation of phonolite-trachyte lineages in intraplate alkalic volcanoes. The Dunedin Volcano (and many others) is composed of lavas ranging in composition from basalt to trachyte and phonolite. Some of these lavas contain mantle peridotite xenoliths, indicative of their fast ascent. Together with colelagues at INGV Rome we are experimentally investigating the conditions that lead to the formation of different magmatic liquid lines of descent.
  • Characterization and eruption dynamics of the 2014-2015 eruption of Hunga Ha’apai (Tonga). I visited and sampled the newly born volcanic cone at Hunga Ha’hapai together with colleagues from the University of Auckland. We collected data ranging from rock samples to characterize the eruption both chemically and physically, underwater bathymetry to reveal features of previous eruption, and drone images of the whole island to generate a 3D model of erosional features.

In addition to these specific projects, I also work on intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks as far afield as Western Australia, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Japan.

A section through a small basaltic volcano at Jeju Island showing the transition from phreatomagmatic-dominated to magmatic-dominated eruption phases.
A section through a small basaltic volcano at Jeju Island showing the transition from phreatomagmatic-dominated to magmatic-dominated eruption phases.

Precipitous basalt and trachyte cliffs at Ulleung Island.
Precipitous basalt and trachyte cliffs at Ulleung Island.

Inspecting the volcanic deposits from the 2009 and 2015 eruptions at Hunga Ha’apai, Tonga.
Inspecting the volcanic deposits from the 2009 and 2015 eruptions at Hunga Ha’apai, Tonga.

Peeking into the crater of the 2012 Te Maari eruption at Mount Tongariro
Peeking into the crater of the 2012 Te Maari eruption at Mount Tongariro

Teaching

^ Top of page

Publications

Stirling, M., Bebbington, M., Brenna, M., Cronin, S., Christophersen, A., Deligne, N., … Wang, T., White, J. D. L., … Wilson, T. (2017). Conceptual development of a National Volcanic Hazard Model for New Zealand. Frontiers in Earth Science, 5, 51. doi: 10.3389/feart.2017.00051

Dalton, H. B., Scott, J. M., Liu, J., Waight, T. E., Pearson, D. G., Brenna, M., … Palin, J. M. (2017). Diffusion-zoned pyroxenes in an isotopically heterogeneous mantle lithosphere beneath the Dunedin Volcanic Group, New Zealand, and their implications for intraplate alkaline magma sources. Lithosphere. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1130/L631.1

Scott, J. M., Brenna, M., Crase, J. A., Waight, T. E., van der Meer, Q., Cooper, A. F., Palin, J. M., … Münker, C. (2016). Peridotitic lithosphere metasomatized by volatile-bearing melts, and its association with intraplate alkaline HIMU-like magmatism. Journal of Petrology, 57(10), 2053-2078. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egw069

Brenna, M., Cronin, S. J., Kereszturi, G., Sohn, Y. K., Smith, I. E. M., & Wijbrans, J. (2015). Intraplate volcanism influenced by distal subduction tectonics at Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Bulletin of Volcanology, 77, 7. doi: 10.1007/s00445-014-0896-5

Brenna, M., Németh, K., Cronin, S. J., Sohn, Y. K., Smith, I. E. M., & Wijbrans, J. (2015). Co-located monogenetic eruptions ~200 kyr apart driven by tapping vertically separated mantle source regions, Chagwido, Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Bulletin of Volcanology, 77, 43. doi: 10.1007/s00445-015-0928-9

Journal - Research Article

Stirling, M., Bebbington, M., Brenna, M., Cronin, S., Christophersen, A., Deligne, N., … Wang, T., White, J. D. L., … Wilson, T. (2017). Conceptual development of a National Volcanic Hazard Model for New Zealand. Frontiers in Earth Science, 5, 51. doi: 10.3389/feart.2017.00051

Dalton, H. B., Scott, J. M., Liu, J., Waight, T. E., Pearson, D. G., Brenna, M., … Palin, J. M. (2017). Diffusion-zoned pyroxenes in an isotopically heterogeneous mantle lithosphere beneath the Dunedin Volcanic Group, New Zealand, and their implications for intraplate alkaline magma sources. Lithosphere. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1130/L631.1

Scott, J. M., Brenna, M., Crase, J. A., Waight, T. E., van der Meer, Q., Cooper, A. F., Palin, J. M., … Münker, C. (2016). Peridotitic lithosphere metasomatized by volatile-bearing melts, and its association with intraplate alkaline HIMU-like magmatism. Journal of Petrology, 57(10), 2053-2078. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egw069

Brenna, M., Cronin, S. J., Kereszturi, G., Sohn, Y. K., Smith, I. E. M., & Wijbrans, J. (2015). Intraplate volcanism influenced by distal subduction tectonics at Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Bulletin of Volcanology, 77, 7. doi: 10.1007/s00445-014-0896-5

Brenna, M., Németh, K., Cronin, S. J., Sohn, Y. K., Smith, I. E. M., & Wijbrans, J. (2015). Co-located monogenetic eruptions ~200 kyr apart driven by tapping vertically separated mantle source regions, Chagwido, Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Bulletin of Volcanology, 77, 43. doi: 10.1007/s00445-015-0928-9

Brenna, M., Nakada, S., Miura, D., Toshida, K., Ito, H., Hokanishi, N., & Nakai, S. (2015). A trachyte–syenite core within a basaltic nest: Filtering of primitive injections by a multi-stage magma plumbing system (Oki-Dōzen, south-west Japan). Contributions to Mineralogy & Petrology, 170, 22. doi: 10.1007/s00410-015-1181-0

Brenna, M., & Gee, M. A. M. (2014). Dyke-diatreme transition in monogenetic volcanoes: Insights from the Hillier Bay volcanic complex, Western Australia. Bulletin of Volcanology, 76(9), 853. doi: 10.1007/s00445-014-0853-3

Pardo, N., Cronin, S. J., Németh, K., Brenna, M., Schipper, C. I., Breard, E., White, J. D. L., … Auer, A., … Wallace, C. (2014). Perils in distinguishing phreatic from phreatomagmatic ash: Insights into the eruption mechanisms of the 6 August 2012 Mt. Tongariro eruption, New Zealand. Journal of Volcanology & Geothermal Research, 286, 397-414. doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.05.001

Brenna, M., Price, R., Cronin, S. J., Smith, I. E. M., Sohn, Y. K., Kim, G. B., & Maas, R. (2014). Final magma storage depth modulation of explosivity and trachyte—phonolite genesis at an intraplate volcano: A case study from Ulleung Island, South Korea. Journal of Petrology, 55(4), 709-747. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egu004

Lube, G., Breard, E. C. P., Cronin, S. J., Procter, J. N., Brenna, M., Moebis, A., … Fournier, N. (2014). Dynamics of surges generated by hydrothermal blasts during the 6 August 2012 Te Maari eruption, Mt. Tongariro, New Zealand. Journal of Volcanology & Geothermal Research, 286, 348-366. doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.05.010

Cronin, S. J., Stewart, C., Zernack, A. V., Brenna, M., Procter, J. N., Pardo, N., … Irwin, M. (2014). Volcanic ash leachate compositions and assessment of health and agricultural hazards from 2012 hydrothermal eruptions, Tongariro, New Zealand. Journal of Volcanology & Geothermal Research, 286, 233-247. doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.07.002

Sohn, Y. K., Cronin, S. J., Brenna, M., Smith, I. E. M., Németh, K., White, J. D. L., Murtagh, R. M., … Kwon, C. W. (2012). Ilchulbong tuff cone, Jeju Island, Korea, revisited: A compound monogenetic volcano involving multiple magma pulses, shifting vents, and discrete eruptive phases. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 124(3-4), 259-274. doi: 10.1130/B30447.1

Brenna, M., Cronin, S. J., Smith, I. E. M., Sohn, Y. K., & Maas, R. (2012). Spatio-temporal evolution of a dispersed magmatic system and its implications for volcano growth, Jeju Island Volcanic Field, Korea. Lithos, 148, 337-352. doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2012.06.021

Brenna, M., Cronin, S. J., Smith, I. E. M., Maas, R., & Sohn, Y. K. (2012). How small-volume basaltic magmatic systems develop: A case study from the Jeju Island Volcanic Field, Korea. Journal of Petrology, 53(5), 985-1018. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egs007

Brenna, M., Cronin, S. J., Németh, K., Smith, I. E. M., & Sohn, Y. K. (2011). The influence of magma plumbing complexity on monogenetic eruptions, Jeju Island, Korea. Terra Nova, 23(2), 70-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3121.2010.00985.x

Németh, K., Cronin, S. J., Haller, M. J., Brenna, M., & Csillag, G. (2010). Modern analogues for Miocene to Pleistocene alkali basaltic phreatomagmatic fields in the Pannonian Basin: “Soft-substrate” to “combined” aquifer controlled phreatomagmatism in intraplate volcanic fields. Central European Journal of Geosciences, 2(3), 339-361. doi: 10.2478/v10085-010-0013-8

Brenna, M., Cronin, S. J., Smith, I. E. M., Sohn, Y. K., & Németh, K. (2010). Mechanisms driving polymagmatic activity at a monogenetic volcano, Udo, Jeju Island, South Korea. Contributions to Mineralogy & Petrology, 160(6), 931-950. doi: 10.1007/s00410-010-0515-1

^ Top of page

Journal - Research Other

Brenna, M., & Cronin, S. J. (2015). Mantle heterogeneity controls on small-volume basaltic volcanism. Geology, 43, e370. doi: 10.1130/G37023C.1

^ Top of page

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Lister, A., Prior, D., McNamaraz, D., & Brenna, M. (2015). 3D reconstruction of geothermal calcite veins using a correlative microscopic approach: EBSD, EDX chemical analysis and other machines that go ping [Poster]. Proceedings of the 27th National Conference on Microscopy. Retrieved from http://microscopy2015.otago.ac.nz/index.html

Lister, A., Prior, D., McNamara, D., & Brenna, M. (2014). 3D reconstruction of geothermal calcite veins using EBSD, chemical data and other machines that go ping. In K. A. Holt (Ed.), Geoscience Society of New Zealand Miscellaneous Publication. 139A, (pp. 65-66). Takaka, New Zealand: GSNZ. [Abstract]

McNamara, D., Lister, A., Prior, D., & Brenna, M. (2014). Fracture sealing in geothermal systems: A combined EBSD and chemical approach. Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 47th Annual Fall Meeting. Retrieved from http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2014/

Scott, J. M., Brenna, M., Waight, T. E., Palin, J. M., Van der Meer, Q. H. A., Cooper, A. F., & Münker, C. (2014). The lithospheric mantle beneath Zealandia and its role in HIMU-like intraplate magmatism. In K. A. Holt (Ed.), Geoscience Society of New Zealand Miscellaneous Publication. 139A, (pp. 95-96). Takaka, New Zealand: GSNZ. [Abstract]

Sohn, Y., Brenna, M., Smith, I. E., Nemeth, K., White, J. D., Murtagh, R., … Cronin, S. J. (2010). Ilchulbong tuff cone, Jeju Island, Korea, revisited: A compound monogenetic volcano involving multiple magma batches, shifting vents, and discrete eruptive phases. Proceedings of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. Retrieved from http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm10/waisfm10.html

More publications...