Principal Investigator
Alessandro Aiuppa was born in Palermo on 23 December 1971. At present, Alessandro Aiuppa is Associate Professor of Volcanology and Geochemistry at DiSTeM (Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e del Mare) of Palermo University, where he is teaching Volcanology, Applied Geochemsitry and Volcanic Hazard at the Science Faculty. He is also Associate Researcher at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (Sezione di Palermo), where he coordinates monitoring and research activities on the chemistry of volcanic gas plumes.

Alessandro Aiuppa is a volcanic gas geochemist, whose research activity focuses on the study of magmatic degassing processes, on the origin, chemical and thermodynamic properties and atmospheric evolution of volcanic gases, and on the volcanic gas-based monitoring and forecasting of volcanic eruptions.

His most recent and significant research efforts have been devoted to the development of innovative techniques for the real-time continuous measurement of volcanic gas composition. The mixed (Università di Palermo - INGV, Sezione di Palermo) research team on volcanic gas plumes, led by the PI of this proposal, has been developing new techniques for the real-time high-rate observation of volcanic gas emissions; and has been the first group (in cooperation with Japanese scientists at AIST-GSJ) to succeed in the design, set-up, and deployment in the field of relatively low-cost and robust gas sensor systems (MultiGAS: Multi-component Gas Analyser System) for permanent, near-vent gas (CO2, SO2, H2S, H2O) measurements at active volcanoes (Aiuppa et al, 2005, GRL; Aiuppa et al., 2006, JGR). Working on these premises, the research team lead by the PI has established (at Etna and Stromboli volcano observatories in Italy) the very first world-available permanent MultiGAS monitoring networks, followed by temporary to permanent MultiGAS installation at several other volcanoes worldwide (among others: Myiake-jima, Japan; Soufriere Hill, Montserrat; Piton de La Fournaise, Reunion island; Redoubt, USA; Ambrym and Yasur, Vanuatu).

These instrumentations have allowed acquisition of robust and systematic compositional datasets for plume gas emissions, and have consequently allowed the PI to characterise with unprecedented detail magmatic degassing processes (with a particular focus on the quantitative modelling of volatile partitioning between the magmatic gas phase and silicate melt during magmatic degassing), and to derive key constraints on: (a) precursory gas changes prior to eruptions; (b) modes and rates of volatile exsolution and separation from ascending magmas in the upper crust; (c) trigger mechanisms of eruptions (e.g., Aiuppa et al., 2007, Geology; Aiuppa et al., 2010, GRL; Aiuppa et al., 2011, SE); (d) integrated analysis of volcanic gas and geophysical data (Aiuppa et al., 2010, G3).

This research has had a substantial impact on the volcanological community, particularly because of its applications on the forecasting of volcanic eruptions, the improvements and innovations brought into the field of volcano monitoring techniques, and for the key contribution in the modelling of volcanic degassing processes and volcanic gas chemistry.

Because of these research achievements, and their impact on experimental Volcanology, Alessandro Aiuppa has been awarded in 2008 the IAVCEI (International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth Interior) WAGER MEDAL 2008, which is appointed every 4 years to the best under 40 volcanologist.

As a recognition of his leading role in the field of volcanic gas studies, Alessandro Aiuppa has been appointed (since August 1st 2011) the role of Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (Elsevier).

As an acknowledgement of the PI’s qualification, A.A. has been appointed as Member of “Commissione Grandi Rischi, Servizio Vulcanico”, Dipartimento di Protezione Civile, ITALY, and Member of the coordination committee of the research projects DPC-INGV 2008-2009.  Since 2004, AA is Associate Researcher at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (Sezione di Palermo), where he coordinates monitoring and research activities on the chemistry of volcanic gas plumes.

Since 2012, AA is PI of the Project Ideas ERC-Stg (FP-7) “BRIDGE”, and Coordinator of the UniPa Research Unit for the EU-FP7 Project “Futurevolc, a European volcanological supersite in Iceland: a monitoring system and network for the future”.

A.A. is author of 116 SCIENTIFIC PAPERS in international (ISI) peer reviewed scientific journals (H-INDEX, 33; source, Scopus), counting more than 2500 citations (source, Scopus).