Dr Jennie Gilbert

Senior Lecturer

Research Overview

Jennie is an Earth scientist and volcanologist with a love of fieldwork.

She has 25 years of research experience in volcanic processes and field volcanology. She has worked at active volcanoes in Japan, Chile and Iceland. Her expertise is in the physical and chemical properties of volcanic ash, the transport of volcanic particulates in the atmosphere, and the interactions between volcanoes and ice.

Published research

Jennie is a co-author of the only research text on volcanic plumes and has published approximately 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals in addition to book chapters, maps and memoirs. She carried out the first field measurements of electrostatic charge on ash falling from volcanic plumes at Sakurajima in Japan and pioneered measurements of electric fields associated with volcanic plumes. She has published in three main areas: (1) the transport of volcanic ash in the atmosphere, (2) the role of volcanic facies as indicators of climate change, and (3) the processes that take place during subglacial eruptions.

She has received funding for her work from:

  • the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • the Royal Society
  • the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI)
  • the European Community
  • the Leverhulme Trust
  • the British Council
  • the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

Current research

Jennie is a member of the Lancaster Environment Centre Earth Sciences Research Group. Her work focusses on:

  • mechanisms of volcanic ash aggregation and dispersal in the atmosphere
  • the use of volcanic facies in determining past climates
  • the physics of subglacial eruptions

Her current PhD students work on a range of topics related to the physics and chemistry of volcanic processes on Earth and Mars, volcanic ash and aviation safety, and societal aspects of volcanic eruptions.


Jennie is a member of the

  • Geological Society of London
  • American Geophysical Union
  • International Glaciological Society
  • Royal School of Mines Association

Teaching and teaching development

Jennie has 20 years of university teaching experience, including several years of leading curriculum development as the department’s Associate Director for Undergraduate Delivery and as a Director of Studies. She has been a panel member of two Lancaster University Periodic Quality Reviews, and has examined PhD and MSc theses at many UK universities.

Jennie is passionate about teaching Earth processes and geologic field skills out-of-doors as well as bringing the geologic world into the classroom. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students and is the module convenor for:

  • LEC.103 Environmental Processes and Systems – a flagship first year module that introduces the Earth as a system comprising air, water, land and life
  • LEC.172 Geology – a foundation first year module that emphasises the dynamic way that the Earth works and the processes that generate our crucial natural Earth resources
  • LEC.274 Geologic Mapping – a residential second year field module to Mull, Scotland, UK

She also contributes teaching to:

  • LEC.277 Geoscience in Practice – a practical-based second year module that focuses on lab and field geologic skills
  • LEC.478 Physical Volcanology – a specialist fourth year module for the MSci Hons Earth and Environmental Science and MSc Volcanology and Geological Hazards students based on an understanding of the properties and behaviour of volcanic materials gained through laboratory, theoretical and field study

She supervises 5-10 undergraduate plus postgraduate dissertation students per year and is an academic tutor to 15-20 students.

Professional roles

Jennie is a member of the

  • IAVCEI Awards Committee
  • Lancaster University Student Appeal and Complaints Panel
  • Lancaster Environment Centre Earth Sciences PhD Review Panel

Outside interests

Jennie loves running and walking in remote terrain – particularly where the geology is spectacular!

Experimental insights into pyroclast‐ice heat transfer in water‐drained, low pressure cavities during subglacial explosive eruptions
Woodcock, D.C., Lane, S.J., Gilbert, J.S. 21/07/2017 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 122, 7, p. 5048–5063. 16 p.
Journal article

Ice-melt rates during volcanic eruptions within water-drained, low pressure subglacial cavities
Woodcock, D.C., Lane, S.J., Gilbert, J.S. 18/02/2016 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 121, 2, p. 648-662. 15 p.
Journal article

Glaciovolcanism at Volcán Sollipulli, southern Chile: lithofacies analysis and interpretation
Lachowycz, S.M., Pyle, D., Gilbert, J.S., Mather, T., Mee, K., Naranjo, J.A., Hobbs, L. 15/09/2015 In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 303, p. 59-78. 20 p.
Journal article

An example of enhanced tephra deposition driven by topographically-induced atmospheric turbulence
Watt, S.F.L., Gilbert, J.S., Folch, A., Phillips, J.C., Cai, X.M. 05/2015 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 77, 14 p.
Journal article

The effect on Icelandic glaciers of supraglacial deposition of tephra from the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption
Hobbs, L.K., Gilbert, J.S., Loughlin, S.C., Lane, S.J. 20/03/2015

Ice-melt rates by steam condensation during explosive subglacial eruptions
Woodcock, D.C., Gilbert, J.S., Lane, S.J. 11/02/2015 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 120, 2, p. 864-878. 15 p.
Journal article

Interactions of volcanic airfall and glaciers: supplementary case study 3
Hobbs, L.K., Gilbert, J.S., Lane, S.J., Loughlin, S. 2015 In: Global volcanic hazards and risk. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press p. 77-78. 2 p. ISBN: 9781107111752.

Ice-melt rates in liquid-filled cavities during explosive subglacial eruptions
Woodcock, D., Lane, S., Gilbert, J. 24/03/2014 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 119, 3, p. 1803-1817. 15 p.
Journal article

Interactions of volcanic airfall and glaciers: Appendix to: Jenkins SF, Wilson TM, Magill CR, Miller V, Stewart C, Marzocchi W and Boulton M, 2014. Volcanic ash fall hazard and risk: technical background paper for the UNISDR 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Hobbs, L.K., Gilbert, J.S., Lane, S.J., Loughlin, S.C. 2014 UN.
Commissioned report

Magma-cryosphere interactions on Mars: an experimental investigation of physical processes
Tyson, S., Lane, S., Wilson, L., Gilbert, J. 2014 In: 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, held 17-21 March, 2014 at The Woodlands, Texas. Houston TX : Lunar and Planetary Institute p. 1124-1125. 2 p.

Particle-water heat transfer during explosive volcanic eruptions
Woodcock, D.C., Gilbert, J., Lane, S.J. 11/10/2012 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 117, B10, 15 p.
Journal article

Distal deposition of tephra from the Eyjafjallajokull 2010 summit eruption
Stevenson, J.A., Loughlin, S., Rae, C., Thordarson, T., Milodowski, A.E., Gilbert, J.S., Harangi, S., Lukacs, R., Hojgaard, B., Arting, U., Pyne-O'Donnell, S., MacLeod, A., Whitney, B., Cassidy, M. 09/2012 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 117, B9, 10 p.
Journal article

Variations in hydration within perlitised rhyolitic lavas - evidence from Torfajökull, Iceland
Denton, J., Tuffen, H., Gilbert, J. 04/2012 In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 223-224, 1, p. 64-73. 10 p.
Journal article

Magma-cryosphere interactions on Mars: VMSG 2012, Durham UK
Airey, M., Tyson, S., Lane, S., Gilbert, J., Wilson, L. 01/2012

Particle-water heat transfer during subglacial explosive eruptions: VMSG 2012, Durham UK
Woodcock, D., Lane, S., Gilbert, J. 01/2012

The role of cold volcanic debris in glacier ablation. AGU Fall Meeting EP51B-0846.
Hobbs, L., Gilbert, J., Lane, S. 12/2011

The role of electrostatics in ash transport and deposition: AGU Fall Meeting 2011 V53H-05
Lane, S., Gilbert, J., James, M. 12/2011

Electrostatic phenomena in volcanic eruptions: IoP 13th International Conference on Electrostatics
Lane, S., James, M., Gilbert, J. 04/2011
Conference paper

Explosive rhyolite tuya formation: classic examples from Kerlingarfjoll, Iceland
Stevenson, J.A., Gilbert, J., McGarvie, D.W., Smellie, J.L. 01/2011 In: Quaternary Science Reviews. 30, 1-2, p. 192-209. 17 p.
Journal article

Mechanisms of Particle Aggregation In Volcanic Plumes and Resultant Morphologies of Aggregates.: (Invited) IUGG 2011 V09-2952
Gilbert, J., Lane, S., James, M., Stevenson, J., Hoskuldsson, Á., Thordarson, T., Loughlin, S., Milodowski, A. 2011

The significance of volcanic ash fall for Earth’s glaciers
Hobbs, L., Gilbert, J., Lane, S. 2011 In: Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group conference.
Conference contribution

The initial responses of hot liquid water released under low atmospheric pressures: experimental insights
Bargery, A.S., Lane, S.J., Barrett, A., Wilson, L., Gilbert, J.S. 11/2010 In: Icarus. 210, 1, p. 488-506. 19 p.
Journal article

Palaeoenvironment reconstruction, volcanic evolution and geochronology of the Cerro Blanco subcomplex, Nevados de Chillán Volcanic Complex, central Chile.
Mee, K., Gilbert, J.S., McGarvie, D.W., Naranjo, J.A., Pringle, M. 10/2009 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 71, 8, p. 933-952. 20 p.
Journal article

Subglacial intermediate volcanism at Kerlingarfjöll, Iceland: magma-water interactions beneath thick ice
Stevenson, J.A., Smellie, J.L., McGarvie, D.W., Gilbert, J.S., Cameron, B.I. 10/09/2009 In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 185, 4, p. 337-351. 15 p.
Journal article

The hydration and alteration of perlite and rhyolite
Denton, J.S., Tuffen, H., Gilbert, J.S., Odling, N. 09/2009 In: Journal of the Geological Society. 166, 5, p. 895-904. 10 p.
Journal article

A new mechanism for caldera formation resulting from interactions between magmatic heat and cryospheric ice.
Tyson, S., Wilson, L., Gilbert, J., Lane, S. 2009
Conference paper

Hecates Tholus: defrosting a volcano: 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
Tyson, S., Wilson, L., Lane, S., Gilbert, J. 2009
Conference paper

Fluid Motions in Volcanic Conduits : A Source of Seismic and Acoustic Signals.
Lane, S.J., Gilbert, J.S. 7/11/2008 London : Geological Society of London. 252 p. ISBN: 978-1-86239-262-5.

The consequences of fluid motion in volcanic conduits.
Gilbert, J.S., Lane, S. 15/10/2008 In: Fluid Motions in Volcanic Conduits: A Source of Seismic and Acoustic Signals.. London : Geological Society p. 1-10. 10 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Electrical charging of volcanic plumes
James, M.R., Wilson, L., Lane, S., Gilbert, J.S., Mather, T.A., Harrison, R.G., Martin, R.S. 06/2008 In: Space Science Reviews. 137, 1-4, p. 399-418. 20 p.
Journal article

An explosive-intrusive subglacial rhyolite eruption at Dalakvisl, Torfajokull, Iceland
Tuffen, H., McGarvie, D.W., Pinkerton, H., Gilbert, J., Brooker, R.A. 05/2008 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 70, 7, p. 841-860. 20 p.
Journal article

Geología del complejo volcánico Nevados de Chillán, Région del Biobío. Servicio Nacional Geología y Minería, Carta Geológía de Chile, Serie Geología Básica, mapa escala 1:50,000, Santiago.
Naranjo, J.A., Gilbert, J.S., Sparks, R.S.J.S. 2008
Other contribution

Laboratory simulation of the release of subsurface water and brine on to the surface of Mars and icy satellites.
Bargery, A., Lane, S., Wilson, L., Gilbert, J. 2008
Conference paper

The physics of fluid oscillations in volcanic systems
Lane, S., Gilbert, J.S. 2007 In: EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union. 88, 3, p. 29-30. 2 p.
Journal article

Will subglacial rhyolite eruptions be explosive or intrusive? Some insights from analytical models
Tuffen, H., McGarvie, D.W., Gilbert, J. 2007 In: Papers from the International Symposium on Earth and Planetary Ice-Volcano Interactions held in Reykjavík, Iceland, on 19-23 June 2006 . Cambridge : International Glaciological Society p. 87-94. 8 p. ISBN: 9780946417407.

Subglacial and ice-contact volcanism at Vatnafjöll, Öraefajökull, Iceland.
Stevenson, J.A., McGarvie, D.W., Smellie, J.L., Gilbert, J.S. 06/2006 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 68, 7-8, p. 737-752. 16 p.
Journal article

Snow-contact volcanic facies and their use in determining past eruptive environments at Nevados de Chillán volcano, Chile
Mee, K., Tuffen, H., Gilbert, J. 02/2006 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 68, 4, p. 363-376. 14 p.
Journal article

Pressure changes associated with the ascent and bursting of gas slugs in liquid-filled vertical and inclined conduits.
James, M.R., Lane, S., Chouet, B., Gilbert, J.S. 15/01/2004 In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 129, 1-3, p. 61-82. 22 p.
Journal article

The density, construction and drag coefficient of electrostatic volcanic ash aggregates.
James, M.R., Lane, S.J., Gilbert, J.S. 17/09/2003 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 108, p. 2435.
Journal article

Melting of the glacier base during a small-volume subglacial rhyolite eruption: evidence from Blahnukur, Iceland.
Tuffen, H., Pinkerton, H., Gilbert, J., McGarvie, D. 15/05/2002 In: Sedimentary Geology. 149, 1-3, p. 183-198. 16 p.
Journal article

A model for large-scale volcanic plumes on Io: Implications for eruption rates and interactions between magmas and near-surface volatiles.
Cataldo, E., Wilson, L., Lane, S., Gilbert, J. 2002 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. 107, E11, p. 5109.
Journal article

Experimental investigation of volcanic particle aggregation in the absence of a liquid phase.
James, M.R., Gilbert, J.S., Lane, S.J. 2002 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 107, B9, 13 p.
Journal article

Physical volcanology of a subglacial-to-emergent rhyolitic tuya at Rauðufossafjöll, Torfajökull, Iceland.
Tuffen, H., McGarvie, D.W., Gilbert, J.S., Pinkerton, H. 2002 In: Geological Society Special Publications. 202, p. 213-236. 24 p.
Journal article

Products of an effusive subglacial rhyolite eruption: Blahnukur, Torfajokull, Iceland.
Tuffen, H., Gilbert, J.S., McGarvie, D.W. 07/2001 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 63, 2-3, p. 179-190. 12 p.
Journal article

Phreatoplinian eruptions
Houghton, B., Wilson, C., Smith, R., Gilbert, J. 2000 In: Encyclopedia of Volcanoes. San Diego : Academic Press p. 513-525. 12 p.

Volcanic plume electrification: experimental investigation of a fracture-charging mechanism.
James, M., Lane, S., Gilbert, J.S. 2000 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 105, B7, p. 16641-16649. 9 p.
Journal article

The evolution of Volcan Nevados de Chillan, Chile.
Dixon, H.J., Murphy, M.D., Sparks, R.S.J., Chaves, R., Naranjo, J.A., Dunkley, P.N., Young, S.R., Gilbert, J.S., Pringle, M.R. 12/1999 In: Revista Geologica de Chile. 26, 2, p. 227-253. 27 p.
Journal article

Future research directions on the physics of explosive volcanic eruptions
Gilbert, J., Sparks, R. 1998 In: The physics of explosive volcanic eruptions. London : Geological Society p. 1-7. 7 p.

The Physics of Explosive Eruptions
Gilbert, J., Sparks, R. 1998 Geological Society of London. 186 p. ISBN: 1862390207.

The geology of Nevados de Chillan Volcano, Chile (Technical Report WC/98/84)
Dixon, H., Sparks, R., Chavez, R., Naranjo, J., Dunkley, P., Young, S., Gilbert, J. 1998 British Geological Survey. 54 p.
Commissioned report

Volcanic hazards at Volcan Nevados de Chillan, Chile (Technical Report WC/98/14)
Gilbert, J., Sparks, R., Young, S. 1998 Technical Report WC/98/14, Overseas Geology Series ed. British Geological Survey. 41 p.
Commissioned report

Volcanic plume monitoring using atmospheric electric potential gradients.
James, M.R., Lane, S., Gilbert, J. 1998 In: Journal of the Geological Society. 155, 4, p. 587-590. 4 p.
Journal article

Volcanic Plumes
Sparks, R., Bursik, M., Carey, S., Gilbert, J., Glaze, L., Sigurdsson, H., Woods, A. 1997 Chichester : Wiley. 574 p. ISBN: 0471939013, 9780471939016.

Non-explosive, constructional evolution of the ice-filled caldera at Volcan Sollipulli, Chile.
Gilbert, J.S., Stasiuk, M.V., Lane, S., Adam, C.R., Murphy, M.D., Sparks, R.S.J., Naranjo, J.A. 09/1996 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 58, 1, p. 67-83. 17 p.
Journal article

Hazards at Nevados de Chillán Volcano, Chile.
Chavez, R., Dixon, H.J., Dunkley, P.N., Gilbert, J.S., Naranjo, J.A., Sparks, R.S.J., Young, S.R. 1996 In: Appl. Geosci. Meet. Abstr.. 99
Journal article

The origin of Pyrenean Hercynian volcanic rocks (France-Spain): REE and Sm---Nd isotope constraints — Reply.
Gilbert, J.S., Bickle, M.J., Chapman, H.J. 5/04/1995 In: Chemical Geology. 121, 1-4, p. 298-300. 3 p.
Journal article

Electrical and chemical properties of eruption plumes at Sakurajima volcano, Japan
Lane, S., Gilbert, J., Kemp, A. 1995 In: 8th Report of Geophysical and Geochemical Observations at Sakurajima Volcano, Sakurajima Volcanological Observatory, Kyoto University. Kyoto p. 105-127. 23 p.

Ice-melt collapse pits and associated features in the 1991 lahar deposits of Volcán Hudson, Chile: criteria to distinguish eruption-induced glacier melt.
Branney, M.J., Gilbert, J.S. 1995 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 57, 5, p. 293-302. 10 p.
Journal article

The origin of accretionary lapilli.
Gilbert, J.S., Lane, S. 11/1994 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 56, 5, p. 398-411. 14 p.
Journal article

The origin of Pyrenean Hercynian volcanic rocks (France-Spain): REE and Sm-Nd isotope constraints.
Gilbert, J.S., Bickle, M.J., Chapman, H.J. 5/01/1994 In: Chemical Geology. 111, 1-4, p. 207-226. 20 p.
Journal article

Electrical phenomena in volcanic plumes. Proceedings of the first international symposium on volcanic ash and aviation safety.
Gilbert, J.S., Lane, S.J. 1994 In: US Geological Survey Bulletin. 2047, p. 31-38. 8 p.
Journal article

Experimental and theoretical modelling of volcanic processes.
Gilbert, J.S. 1994 In: Geoscientist. 4, p. 12-14. 3 p.
Journal article

Nuevos antecedentes sobre la evolución cuaternaria del complejo Volcánico Nevados de Chillán
Naranjo, J., Chavez, R., Sparks, R., Gilbert, J., Dunkley, P. 1994 In: Proceedings volume of the 7th Chilean Geological Congress, Concepcion, Chile. p. 342-345. 4 p.
Conference contribution

The concentration of ash in volcanic plumes, inferred from dispersal data: proceedings volume of the first international symposium on volcanic ash and aviation safety.
Bursik, M.I., Sparks, R.S.J., Carey, S.N., Gilbert, J.S. 1994 In: US Geological Survey Bulletin. 2047, p. 19-29. 11 p.
Journal article

The controls of eruption-column dynamics on the injection and mass loading of ash into the atmosphere.
Sparks, R.S.J., Bursik, M.I., Carey, S.N., Woods, A.W., Gilbert, J.S. 1994 In: US Geological Survey Bulletin. 2047, p. 81-86. 6 p.
Journal article

The aerodynamic behaviour of volcanic aggregates
Lane, S., Gilbert, J., HILTON, M. 1/09/1993 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 55, 7, p. 481-488. 8 p.
Journal article

Electric potential gradient changes during explosive activity at Sakurajima volcano, Japan
Lane, S., Gilbert, J. 1/09/1992 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 54, 7, p. 590-594. 5 p.
Journal article

Sedimentation of tephra by volcanic plumes, I, Theory and its comparison with a study of Fogo A plinian deposit, Sao Miguel (Azores)
BURSIK, M.I., SPARKS, R.S.J., CAREY, S.N., Gilbert, J. 04/1992 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 54, 4, p. 329-344. 16 p.
Journal article

The stratigraphy of a proximal late hercynian pyroclastic sequence - the vilancos region of the pyrenees
Gilbert, J. 03/1991 In: Geological Magazine. 128, 2, p. 111-128. 18 p.
Journal article

Charge measurements on particle fallout from a volcanic plume
Gilbert, J., Lane, S., SPARKS, R., KOYAGUCHI, T. 14/02/1991 In: Nature. 349, 6310, p. 598-600. 3 p.
Journal article

The significance of garnet in the Permo-Carboniferous volcanic rocks of the Pyrenees
Gilbert, J., ROGERS, N.W. 05/1989 In: Journal of the Geological Society. 146, p. 477-490. 14 p.
Journal article