Volcanology combines many different parts of geology to study how and why volcanoes erupt the way they do, and how these eruptions affect the environment, including humans. At Northern Arizona University, we study the geochemical and geophysical characteristics of the magmas and volcanic structures, use many different field techniques to describe the deposits, and simulate volcanic processes using experiments and numerical modeling.
NAU’s location is perfect for studying volcanolgy
At NAU, we are situated in the middle of a volcanic field with about 600 vents, mostly scoria cones but including maars, domes, and stratovolcanoes. Calderas and shield volcanoes are within a day’s drive. Some of our students study the local volcanoes, but we also have projects scattered around the world, including in the US (Southwest, Cascades and Alaska), Mexico, South America, Europe, and the Indian Ocean.
Research projects in volcanology at NAU currently focus on volcanoes and tectonics, the record of volcanism in sedimentary strata, silicic domes, processes of large-volume explosive eruptions and flows, explosive water-magma interaction, transport and depositional processes in dilute pyroclastic density currents on Earth and Mars, scoria-cone eruptions, and the interactions of humans and volcanoes.
Who we are
Faculty and research staff Accordion Open
Degree programs Accordion Open
- Bachelor’s degree (BS) in Geology
- Master’s degree (MS) in Geology
- PhD in Earth Sciences & Environmental Sustainability, with an emphasis in Earth Systems
Graduate-level courses Accordion Closed
- GLG 520 Volcanology
- GLG 612 Igneous Petrology
- GLG 560 Applied Geophysics