Ellen McGowan

Associate Lecturer, PhD student

Research Interests

  • PhD research

The explosivity of rhyolitic (silica-rich) volcanoes is largely influenced by the loss of magmatic water, with explosivity decreasing with increased water loss. For Ellen's PhD she conducted a highly detailed micro- to macro-scale study of the textures and water content inside eroded Icelandic volcanoes. Her research has provided fresh insight into the intrusive emplacement and deformation of rhyolitic magma, and particularly into how rhyolitic magma fragments, which aids our understanding into how water escapes from rhyolitic magma during its last few hundred meters of ascent.

  • Formation and evolution of volcanic ash aggregates

The aggregation of volcanic ash can occur during volcanic eruptions and it promotes atmospheric cleansing. Ellen uses the microstratigraphy of ash aggregates to assist with the identification of different types of volcanic deposits, which will ultimately contribute towards the production of hazard maps at active volcanoes, whilst also helping to unravel the eruption histories of different types of volcanoes.

Conduit Dynamics in Transitional Rhyolitic Activity Recorded by Tuffisite Vein Textures from the 2008–2009 Chaitén Eruption
Saubin, E., Tuffen, H., Gurioli, L., Owen, J., Castro, J.M., Berlo, K., McGowan, E., Schipper, C.I., Wehbe, K. 18/05/2016 In: Frontiers in Earth Science. 4, 17 p.
Journal article

Brittle-ductile magma deformation and explosive-effusive behaviour: insight from Icelandic rhyolitic dykes
McGowan, E., Tuffen, H., James, M., Wynn, P. 22/07/2015
Poster

Pressure changes before and after explosive rhyolitic bomb ejection at Chaiten, Chile recorded by water diffusion profiles around Tuffisite veins
McGowan, E., Tuffen, H., Castro, J., Berlo, K., James, M., Owen, J., Schipper, C.I., Wadsworth, F., Saubin, E., Wehbe, K. 2015
Poster