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Volcanology research facilities in the Department of Geology  

ArtFisH (Artificial Volcanic Fissure for Hot-wax Analysis of Thermal Feedback and Conduit Initiation)

We are building a new lab-scale volcanic fissure through which we will intrude hot polyethylene glycol (PEG) wax, a common magma or lava analogue. Our experiments aim to investigate the lateral variation that arises along a dyke during magma ascent.

We will test the influences of conduit shape and wall temperature, stability and deformation on the thermal evolution of wax (magma). We are interested in how these variables control the localisation of magma into cones and craters along a fissure, with implications for improved understanding of their associated hazards.

We will use numerical modelling, combined with worldwide fissure eruption observations (surface) and field investigation of ancient deposits (below surface) to scale our experimental observations up to natural scenarios.

Our results will be applied to models determining the evolution of eruptions through volcanic fissures, such as in the Auckland Volcanic Field.

Wax apparatus
Drawn by Tobias Dürig.

For more information please contact

Dr Rosie Cole


Professor James White


Other volcanology facilities

Facilities in the Geology Department

Facilities available on campus