Nancy Riggs: Volcanology

Research Activities

My research interests range from exploration of the interaction of volcanism and tectonics to the interaction of volcanism and sedimentation to the interaction of tectonics and topography to physical volcanology. I have done research on these various topics in southern and central Arizona, New Zealand, Ireland, and Mexico. Most recently, most of my work has been in two areas:  I am investigating how isolated volcanic domes and dome complexes grow and are destroyed. Domes are commonly found around stratovolcanoes and calderas, but they certainly exist by themselves as well, and the perception of their hazards needs to address this fact. My collaborator in this work is at UNAM, Juraquilla.

I am studying the volcanic contribution to an Upper Triassic unit on the Colorado Plateau. Together with colleagues at UIPUI, the USGS, and elsewhere, I am dating volcanic detritus that ranges in size from ash to cobbles from this continental sandstone and attempting to work backwards to its source areas. It seems evident that the ash, cobbles, and non-volcanic material all had different sources, based on the age signatures of the zircon crystals in them. For more information about these and other projects, please click here.