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Volcanic eruptions: causes and consequences

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The eruptions of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull stopped the European air traffic for almost a week last April. David’s research is focused on understanding the factors that influence when and how volcanoes erupt. These include investigating the past histories of volcanic activity in particular regions (for example, examining what happened to volcanoes in Southern Chile when the glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age), and also working on the continuing behaviour of active systems (for example, studying an ongoing episode of faulting and eruption in the Afar region of Ethiopia).

David Pyle read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, specialising in Earth Sciences, and completing a PhD in volcanology. After a year at the California Institute of Technology, he returned to Cambridge as a lecturer, where he stayed until in 2006 he took his post as Lecturer in Igneous Processes in the Department of Earth Sciences and Tutorial Fellow in Oxford.

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