Heather Wright

Biography

I work for the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP), a cooperative partnership between the USGS and USAID's Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance.  My job involves many functions, including conducting international training courses, participating in volcanic crisis response efforts, and performing fundamental scientific research on volcanic processes.  My research integrates fieldwork with quantitative textural and chemical characterization of volcanic clasts, in order to produce conceptual models of the relevant geologic processes and better understand processes of shallow magma storage, ascent, and eruption. I use a variety of observation strategies and tools, including geologic mapping and input into GIS, field stratigraphic logging, x-ray tomography (synchrotron-based), permeability, porosity, and electrical conductivity measurement of saturated rock cores, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and optical microscope imagery, electron microprobe and ion microprobe chemical analyses, and FTIR spectroscopic analyses.  I enjoy the multidisciplinary nature of my job.  And, I am fortunate to work with an amazing group of colleagues at the USGS and at our partner agencies around the world.

Background:

2013-present: Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, Cascades Volcano Observatory, USGS

2012-2013: California Volcano Observatory, USGS.  

2010-2012: Mendenhall postdoctoral appointment, USGS Menlo Park, CA. Project title "Using crystal and glass compositions from eruptive products of Mt. Mazama (Crater Lake) volcano to examine magma chamber evolution processes; modelling this evolution through time using an integrated geochemical and thermodynamic approach."

2006-2009: Research fellow, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Project title "Physical volcanology and petrology of the Cerro Galan caldera complex, northern Argentina"

2006: Ph.D. (Geological Sciences) University of Oregon. Thesis title: Physical and chemical signatures of degassing in volcanic systems

1999-2001: Earth Science Intern, ECO, US Geological Survey

1999: Student Intern, USRA, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

1999: B.A. (Geology) Whitman College

 

Academic awards and honors:

Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers, 2019

George P. L. Walker award of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, given every two years to an early career scientist in the fields encompassed by IAVCEI, 2013

University of Oregon Doctoral Research Fellowship, awarded to the most outstanding doctoral applicant in any UO PhD program by a faculty selection committee, 2005

Outstanding Student Paper Award, Fall AGU meeting, 2003 (Volcanology, Geochemistry, Petrology section)

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2003

University of Oregon Staples Fellowship, 2002

Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi National Honorary Science Fraternities, 1999

Graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Major, 1999

Leeds Prize for Excellence in Geology, 1999

 

Student supervision:

S. Kunrat, Masters. 2017.  Title, "Soputan Volcano, Indonesia: Petrological Systematics of Volatiles and Magmas and Their Bearing on Explosive Eruptions of a Basalt Volcano"

A. Cabrera, Ph.D. 2013. Title, "The architecture, emplacement and rheological behaviour of rhyolite lavas from the Aeolian Islands"

C. Folkes, Ph.D. 2010. Title, "The geochemistry, stratigraphy, and volcanology of the Cerro Galan volcanic system, NW Argentina"

J. Miles, Honours. 2009. Title, "Conduit Dynamics in Fluctuating Phreatomagmatic and Magmatic Eruptive Phases at Tower Hill Volcanic Complex, South Eastern Australia"

H. Renou, Honours. 2009. Title, "Volatiles in magma: Evidence preserved in melt inclusions and the analysis of their host phenocrysts from the Cerro Galan stratigraphy, NW Argentina"

 

Teaching experience:

Lecturer: Center for Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) International Training 2013 - present, Volcanology and Igneous Petrology (ESC3421) 2009, Introductory Geology (ESC1011) 2007-8, Field geology (ESC2122) 2007-8, Field geology of New Zealand 2008, "Volcanic Processes, Products, Successions and Resources" shortcourse for industry professionals 2007-8, Geologic Hazards (Geo353) 2005, and Introduction to Geology for Education Majors 2005 and 2006

Teaching Assistant: Introductory Geology, Essentials of Mineralogy, Introduction to Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Aqueous Geochemistry, Field Geology

 

Publications: (Google Scholar webpage)

Syahbana, D.K., Kasbani, K., Suantika, G., Prambada, O., Andreas, A.S., Saing, U.B., Kunrat, S.L., Andreastuti, S., Martanto, M., Kriswati, E., Suparman, Y., Humaida, H., Ogburn, S., Kelly, P.J., Wellik, J., Wright, H.M.N., Pesicek, J.D., Wessels, R., Kern, C., Lisowski, M., Diefenbach, A., Poland, M., Beauducel, F., Pallister, J., Vaughan, R.G., and Lowenstern J., 2019. The 2017–19 activity at Mount Agung in Bali (Indonesia): Intense unrest, monitoring, crisis response, evacuation, and eruption. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 8848, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45295-9

Wright, H.M., Pallister, J.S., McCausland, W.M., Griswold, J.P., Andreastuti, S., Budianto, A., Primulyana, S., Gunawan, H., 2013 VDAP team, and CVGHM event tree team, 2018, Construction of probabilistic event trees for eruption forecasting at Sinabung volcano, Indonesia 2013-14, Journ. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.02.003

Lowenstern, J.B., van Hinsberg, V., Berlo, K., Liesegang, M., Iacovino, K., Bindeman, I. and Wright, H.M., 2018, Opal-A in Glassy Pumice, Acid Alteration, and the 1817 Phreatomagmatic Eruption at Kawah Ijen (Java), Indonesia. Frontiers in Earth Science6, 11 doi:10.3389/feart.2018.00011

Pallister, J.S., Clynne, M.A., Wright, H.M., Van Eaton, A.R., Vallance, J.W., Sherrod, D.R., and Kokelaar, P., 2017, Field-trip guide to Mount St. Helens, Washington—An overview of the eruptive history and petrology, tephra deposits, 1980 pyroclastic density current deposits, and the crater: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5022–D, 65 p., doi:10.3133/sir20175022D

Karakas, O., Dufek, J., Mangan, M.T., Wright, H.M., and Bachmann, O., 2017, Thermal and petrologic constraints on lower crustal melt accumulation under the Salton Sea Geothermal Field, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 467: 10-17 doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.02.027

Bacon, C.R. and Wright, H.M., 2017, Geologic field trip guide to Mount Mazama and Crater Lake Caldera, Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5022–J1, 47 p., doi:10.3133/sir20175022J1

Robinson, J.E., Bacon, C.R., Major, J.J., Wright, H.M., and Vallance, J.W., 2017, Surface morphology of caldera-forming eruption deposits revealed by lidar mapping of Crater Lake National Park, Oregon- Implications for emplacement and surface modification, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.02.012

Gaunt, H.E., Bernard, B., Hidalgo, S., Proaño, A., Wright, H., Mothes, P., Criollo, E. and Kueppers, U., 2016, Juvenile magma recognition and eruptive dynamics inferred from the analysis of ash time series: the 2015 reawakening of Cotopaxi volcano, Journ. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res.  doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.10.013

Su, Y., Huber, C., Bachmann, O., Zajacz, Z., Wright, H., & Vazquez, J., 2016, The role of crystallization‐driven exsolution on the sulfur mass balance in volcanic arc magmas. Journ. Geophys. Res.: Solid Earth, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JB013184.

Wright, H.M., Vazquez, J.A., Champion, D.E., Calvert, A.T., Mangan, M.T., Stelten, M, Cooper, K.M., Herzig, C., and Schriener, A., 2015, Episodic Holocene eruption of the Salton Buttes rhyolites, California, from paleomagnetic, U-Th, and Ar/Ar dating. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16: 1198-1210 doi:10.1002/2015GC005714

Cabrera, A., Weinberg, R.F., and Wright, H.M.N., 2015, Magma fracturing and degassing associated with obsidian formation: the explosive – effusive transition, Journ. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 298: 71-84 doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores/2014.12.014 [Link]

Karlstrom, L., Wright, H.M., and Bacon, C.R., 2015, The effect of pressurized magma chamber growth on melt migration and pre-caldera locations through time at Mount Mazama, Crater Lake, Oregon, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 412:209-219 doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.001 [Link]

Wright, H.M., Vazquez, J.A., Champion, D.E., Calvert, A.T., Mangan, M.T., Stelten, M, Cooper, K.M., Herzig, C., and Schriener, A., 2015, Episodic Holocene eruption of the Salton Buttes rhyolites, California, from paleomagnetic, U-Th, and Ar/Ar dating. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16: 1198-1210 doi: 10.1002/2015GC005714 [Link]

Wright, H. M. and Cashman, K.V. 2014, Compaction and gas loss in welded pyroclastic deposits as revealed by porosity, permeability, and electrical conductivity measurements of the Shevlin Park Tuff, Geological Society of America Bulletin. 126: 234-247 doi: 10.1130/B30668.1 [Link]

Pardo, N., Cronin, S.J., Wright, H., Schipper, C.I., Smith, I., and Stewart, B., 2014, Pyroclast textural variation as an indicator of eruption-column steadiness in andesitic Plinian eruptions at Mt. Ruapehu, Bull. Volcanol. 76: 822, doi: 10.1007/s00445-014-0822-x

Wright, H.M.N., Cashman, K.V., Mothes, P.A., Hall, M.L., Ruiz, A.G., and Le Pennec, J.-L. 2012. Estimating rates of decompression from textures of erupted ash particles produced by 1999-2006 eruptions of Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador. Geology. 7: 619-622 doi: 10.1130/G32948.1 [Link]

Wright, H.M., Bacon, C.R., Vazquez, J.A., and Sisson, T.W., 2012, Sixty-thousand years of magmatic volatile history before the caldera-forming eruption of Mount Mazama, Crater Lake, Oregon. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology doi: 10.1007/s00410-012-0787-8

Lesti, C., Porreca M., Giordano G., Mattei M., Cas R., Wright H., Viramonte J. 2011. High temperature emplacement of the Cerro Galán and Toconquis Group ignimbrites (Puna Plateau, NW Argentina) determined by TRM analyses. In Cas, R.A.F and Cashman, K.(eds) The Cerro Galán Ignimbrite and Caldera: characteristics and origins of a very large volume ignimbrite and its magma system. Bull. Volcanol. 73: 1535-1565 doi: 10.1007/s00445-011-0536-2

Cas, R.A.F., Wright, H.M.N., Folkes, C.B., Lesti, C., Porreca, M., Giordano, G., and Viramonte, J.G. 2011. The flow dynamics of an extremely large volume pyroclastic flow, the 2.08 Ma Cerro Galán Ignimbrite, NW Argentina, using deposit characteristics and contacts with basement topography at distal margins. In Cas, R.A.F and Cashman, K.(eds) The Cerro Galán Ignimbrite and Caldera: characteristics and origins of a very large volume ignimbrite and its magma system. Bull. Volcanol. 73: 1583-1609 doi. 10.1007/s00445-011-0564-y

Folkes, C.B., Wright, H.M, Cas, R.A.F., de Silva, S.L., Lesti, C., and Viramonte, J. 2011. A re-appraisal of the stratigraphy and volcanology of the Cerro Galán volcanic system, NW Argentina. In Cas, R.A.F and Cashman, K.(eds) The Cerro Galán Ignimbrite and Caldera: characteristics and origins of a very large volume ignimbrite and its magma system. Bull. Volcanol. 73: 1427-1454 doi:10.1007/849 s00445-011-0459-y

Folkes, C.B., de Silva, S., Wright, H.M., and Cas, R.A.F. 2011. Geochemical homogeneity of a long-lived large silicic system: evidence from Cerro Galan Caldera, NW Argentina. In Cas, R.A.F and Cashman, K.(eds) The Cerro Galán Ignimbrite and Caldera: characteristics and origins of a very large volume ignimbrite and its magma system. Bull. Volcanol. 73: 1455-1486 doi:10.1007/s00445-011-0511-y

Wright, H.M.N., Lesti, C., Cas, R.A.F., Porecca, M., Viramonte, J.G., Folkes, C. and Giordano, G. 2011. Columnar jointing in vapor phase altered, non-welded Cerro Galan Ignimbrite, Paycuqui, Argentina. In Cas, R.A.F and Cashman, K.(eds) The Cerro Galán Ignimbrite and Caldera: characteristics and origins of a very large volume ignimbrite and its magma system. Bull. Volcanol. 73: 1567-1582 doi: 10.1007/s00445-011-0524-6

Wright, H.M.N., Folkes, C.B., Cas, R.A.F, and Cashman, K.V. 2011. Heterogeneous pumice populations in the 2.08 Ma Cerro Galán Ignimbrite: implications for magma recharge and ascent preceding a large volume silicic eruption. In Cas, R.A.F and Cashman, K.(eds) The Cerro Galán Ignimbrite and Caldera: characteristics and origins of a very large volume ignimbrite and its magma system. Bull. Volcanol. 73:1513-1533 doi: 10.1007/s00445-011-0525-5 [Link]

Cabrera, A., Weinberg, R., Wright, H., and Vlotnik, S. 2010. Melt fracturing and healing: a mechanism for degassing and origin of obsidian. Geology, 39: 67-70. doi: 10.1130/G31355.1

Wright, H.M.N., Weinberg, R. 2009. Strain localization in vesicular magma: implications for rheology and fragmentation. Geology 37: 1023-1026. doi: 10.1130/G30199A.1 [Link]

Wright, H.M.N., Cashman, K.V., Gottesfeld, E., and Roberts, J.J. 2009. Pore structure of volcanic clasts: measurements of permeability and electrical conductivity. Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett. 280: 93-104. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2009.01.023 [Link]

Rust, A.C., Cashman, K.V., and Wright, H.M. 2008. Fudge factors in lessons on crystallization, rheology and morphology of basalt lava flows. Journal of Geoscience Education 56: 73-80

Wright, H.M.N., Cashman, K.V., Rosi, M., and Cioni, R. 2007. Breadcrust bombs as indicators of Vulcanian eruption dynamics at Guagua Pichincha volcano, Ecuador. Bull. Volcanol. 69: 281-300

Wright, H.M.N., Roberts, J.J., and Cashman, K.V. 2006. Permeability of anisotropic tube pumice: Model calculations and measurements. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33: L17316