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Dr James Hickey


My primary research interests are in the processes controlling the dynamics of active and restless volcanoes and the geophysical and geochemical signals they produce, with an overarching aim of helping to improve eruption forecasting capabilities.

Current Projects

Reconciling eruption timescales and volcanic unrest at Aira caldera and Sajurajima volcano, Japan

Regular small eruptions belie the volcano’s fierce past, including regular Plinian eruptions, the latest of which in 1914 killed 58 people. This ambitious project aims to combine insights from geophysical and geochemical monitoring with those from igneous petrology to unravel the processes dictating eruption size and style, and link them to precursory monitoring signals for improved eruption forecasting. 

Surface deformation and volcanic unrest at Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat

Soufriere Hills volcano sprang back to life in 1995, and has been periodically active since then with cycles of quiescence and eruption. These cycles are well matched with geochemical and geophysical indicators of unrest, including surface deformation. In collaboration with the Montserrat Volcano Observatory we are investigating past and present unrest episodes to explore the evolution of the magmatic system and magma supply.

I presented some preliminary results of this project at the 2021 VMSG Annual meeting. My quick 1 minute flash talk can be viewed on YouTube or by clicking on the above image.


Previous Research

You can read about my past research projects, including from my PhD and postdoc days on my personal webpage.