Ellen McGowan

PhD student, Sessional - Teaching

Ellen is a NERC funded PhD student

The aim of Ellen's research is to gain insight into how volatiles escape from rhyolitic magma (degassing) during its ascent, this process is important because the explosivity of rhyolitic eruptions has been shown to decrease as more volatiles escape from magma. Ellen is investigating how tuffisite veins (ash-filled fractures) and permeable foams (connected networks of coalesced bubbles) control degassing and how these degassing pathways evolve during the ascent and emplacement of magma along dykes. Ellen is studying dissected rhyolitic dykes at three central volcanoes in Iceland. She is analysing the textures in the dykes during extensive field seasons and through microscopic examinations, the textures are being linked to geochemical signatures, in particular degassing trends recorded by the magmatic water concentration.