UMD Planetary Volcanism Laboratory

Welcome to the University of Maryland Planetary Volcanism Laboratory!

We study volcanoes on Earth and beyond.

Research Questions

  • What are the sources and quantities of volatiles in the interiors of the Earth, the Moon, and Mars?

  • What factors control volcanic eruptive style on the Earth and other planetary bodies?

  • How fast does magma cool within the volcanic conduit? How fast does magma rise from source to surface?

  • Can we link petrologic markers of magma ascent to the seismic record at active volcanoes?

  • How did a mugearite form on Mars?

Research Keywords

  • Volatiles

  • Silicate melts

  • Olivine

  • Diffusion

  • Moon

  • Melt inclusions

  • Conduit processes


September 2021

  • Liam's NASA proposal has been selected for funding! Liam is now a Future Investigator in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology. He will use this three-year award to study the origin of inner solar system volatiles. CONGRATULATIONS LIAM!!!

August 2021

  • New graduate students Kyle Kim and Cosmo Varah-Sikes have arrived on campus - welcome! Kyle will be working on magma ascent at Cinder Cone (Lassen Volcanic National Park) and Cosmo will be working with Jessica Sunshine and me on some mysterious spinel-rich lunar volcanic deposits.

January 2021

  • New graduate student Silvia Castilla Montagut has arrived in College Park - welcome Silvia!

  • Liam has been selected to receive an Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award - congratulations Liam!

August 2020

June 2020

May 2020

  • Liam has been awarded a GSA Graduate Student Research Grant. Congratulations, Liam!

March 2020

  • The iN10MX FTIR has arrived!

September 2019

  • The Planetary Volcanism Lab is under construction! Microscopes have arrived and we're ready to start polishing olivine.

August 2019

  • Megan and Euan are both presenting at Goldschmidt - check out sessions 06k and 02a!

January 2019

  • Goldschmidt abstract submission is open! Check out session 06j: "Do Magmatic Systems Play by our Rules? Translating from an Equilibrium Rulebook into a Kinetic Playbook". We will be discussing disequilibrium processes in magmatic systems, including diffusion chronometry (crystal clocks). Deadline is 31st March.

August 2018

  • AGU abstracts are due 1st August! Please consider submitting your abstract to session V039: "The Time is Ripe: Advancements of Diffusion Chronometry in Igneous and Metamorphic Systems".

  • Megan is an invited speaker at the upcoming pre-Goldschmidt workshop about melt inclusions.

June 2018

  • Megan was an invited speaker at the PACROFI conference at Rice University.