Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Scott Bryan
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science

External supervisors

  • Dr Isobel Yeo, National Oceanography Centre Southampton (UK)
  • Dr Ken Tani, National Museum of Nature and Science (Japan)
  • Dr Iona McIntosh, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC, Japan)


More than 21,000 km of submarine volcanoes front subduction zones, many of which lie in shallow water close to inhabited areas. Eruptions at these volcanoes can be explosive and may have significant impacts on nearby communities, or generate pumice rafts that prolong impact at remote locations. For the first time, samples of a shallow marine explosive eruption have been collected from the buoyant pumice raft and from the seafloor at the vent of Volcano 0403-091, Tonga.

Research activities

The project will substantially utilise optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopes (SEM) for detailed textural analysis of the pumice material. Mineral phase and glass chemistry will be determined by electron microprobe and ICP-MS/LA-ICP-MS analysis using facilities within the Central Analytical Research Facility at QUT.


This project will develop:

  • new constraints on eruption dynamics of shallow marine explosive eruptions and the fate of pumice – to be buoyant and remain afloat or to sink to the seafloor
  • new insights into the plumbing system of a large submarine volcano and magmatic relationships between closely spaced eruptions
  • a clearer picture of the Tongan volcanoes that have erupted and produced pumice rafts that have wide impact across the SW Pacific.

Skills and experience

This project is suitable for those with an earth science background and previous research experiences in igneous petrology or volcanology.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



Contact the supervisor for more information.