Friday, October 23, 2015

United Kingdom: PhD Research to Help Krafla Magma Geothermal Drilling Project

From Dr Hugh Tuffen, reader in Volcanology at Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK:
"Geothermal Production, by Mother and Man" by Joseph F. Batir. Geothermal pipelines in the Krafla geothermal field with steam in the background from geothermal surface manifestations. Krafla, Iceland. Taken September 2 2010.
An exciting volcanology PhD opportunity at Lancaster University, starting in October 2016, on magma-geothermal interactions at Krafla volcano in Iceland.

The project will involve fieldwork, geochemistry and textural analysis to reconstruct how shallow rhyolitic magma interacts with external water, in collaboration with volcanologists at the British Geological Survey and University of Liverpool, and Landsvirkjun in Iceland. The field site will be the spectacular rhyolitic dyke and intrusions at Hrafntinnuhryggur, close to the geothermal power station.

A key aspect to investigate is how fracturing and mineral precipitation influence the permeabilty of intrusion margins. This is because the potential exploitation of magmatic intrusions as a powerful geothermal heat source critically depends upon the permeability at the magma-geothermal interface. Project results will therefore inform ongoing research into magma drilling at Krafla, which is scheduled for 2017.

You can visit the IDDP website ( for the background to magma drilling at Krafla, including this short film: More information will be posted on the Envision DTP site ( in mid-November, but please get in touch in advance if you are interested. Eligibility: UK/EU students only.

Email Dr Tuffen at