Professor Michael James

Professor in Volcanology

Research Overview

My research involves understanding Earth surface change processes, with emphasis on volcanic flows such as lavas and domes. I use field measurements of active processes using laser scanning, close-range photogrammetry, mm-wave radar, infrared and remote time-lapse imaging, and UAVs and am currently exploring the use of structure-from-motion algorithms for facilitating 3D surface generation from photographs. Other areas of interest include volcanic fluid dynamics and plume processes.

See my home page for more information including:

Teaching and field courses including photographs from Sicily and Iceland


Software – including sfm georef and pointcatcher

Selected Publications

Straightforward reconstruction of 3d surfaces and topography with a camera: accuracy and geoscience application
James, M., Robson, S. 09/2012 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface. 117, 3, 17 p.
Journal article

Identification of structural controls in an active lava dome with high resolution DEMs: Volcán de Colima, Mexico
James, M., Varley, N. 21/11/2012 In: Geophysical Research Letters. 39, 5 p.
Journal article

Image-based measurement of flux variation in distal regions of active lava flows.
James, M.R., Pinkerton, H., Robson, S. 13/03/2007 In: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 8, 3, 16 p.
Journal article

Lava channel roofing, overflows, breaches and switching: insights from the 2008-9 eruption of Mt. Etna
James, M.R., Applegarth, L., Pinkerton, H. 01/2012 In: Bulletin of Volcanology. 74, 1, p. 107-117. 11 p.
Journal article

Gas slug ascent through changes in conduit diameter : Laboratory insights into a volcano-seismic source process in low-viscosity magmas.
James, M.R., Lane, S.J., Chouet, B.A. 2006 In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 111, B05201
Journal article

Modelling the rapid near-surface expansion of gas slugs in low-viscosity magmas.
James, M.R., Lane, S.J., Corder, S.B. 7/11/2008 In: Geological Society Special Publications. 307, 1, p. 147-167. 21 p.
Journal article

Bulletin of Volcanology (Journal)
Editorial activity

Progress in Physical Geography (Journal)
Editorial activity

NERC (External organisation)
Membership of committee

Gaetana Ganci
Hosting an academic visitor

  • DSI - Environment
  • Earth Science
  • Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre
  • LIRA - Environmental Modelling
  • Understanding a changing planet