Kyle R Anderson


I am a research geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey at Moffett Field, California. I work to understand volcanic systems by developing mathematical models which relate magma physics with monitoring data such as ground deformations and eruption rates. By comparing the models with real-world observations using probabilistic statistical approaches it is possible to constrain properties of volcanic systems such as the composition and volume of stored magma. This approach can also be used in some cases to forecast future eruptive activity. I've worked most extensively at Mount St. Helens and Kīlauea volcanoes, but I'm interested in volcanoes and eruptions around the world.

Research Interests

  • Physics of magma systems and volcanic eruptions
  • Caldera collapse processes
  • Episodic/cyclic eruptive behavior
  • Volatiles in magma and influence on eruptive processes
  • Rates of magma supply, storage, and eruption
  • Volcanic hazards assessments and forecasts
  • Uncertainty quantification


Research Geophysicist, USGS Volcano Science Center (California Volcano Observatory) (2015-present)

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellow, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (2012-2015)



PhD: Geophysics, Stanford University

MS: Geophysics, Stanford University

BA: Geology-Physics, Whitman College



Wasser, V. K, T. M. Lopez, K. Anderson, P. E. Izbekov, J. T. Freymueller (2021), Multidisciplinary constraints on magma compressibility, the pre‐eruptive exsolved volatile fraction, and the H2O/CO2 molar ratio for the 2006 Augustine eruption, Alaska, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, doi:10.1029/2021GC009911

McKee, K., C. M. Smith, K. Reath, E. Snee, S. Maher, R. S. Matoza, S. Carn, D. C. Roman, L. Mastin, K. Anderson, D. Damby, I. Itikarai, K. Mulina, S. Saunders, J. D. Assink, R. de Negri Leiva (2021), Evaluating the state-of-the-art in remote volcanic eruption characterization Part II: Ulawun volcano, Papua New GuineaJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research,  doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2021.107381

McKee, K., C. M. Smith, K. Reath, E. Snee, S. Maher, R. S. Matoza, S. Carn, L. Mastin, K. Anderson, D. Damby, D. Roman, A. Degterev, A. Rybin, M. Chibisova, J. Assink, R. de Negri Leiva, A. Perttu (2021), Evaluating the state-of-the-art in remote volcanic eruption characterization Part I: Raikoke volcano, Kuril IslandsJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research,  doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2021.107354 

Segall, P. and K. Anderson (2021), Repeating caldera collapse events constrain fault friction at the kilometer scaleProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 118 (30), doi:10.1073/pnas.2101469118

Patrick, M. R., B. F. Houghton, K. R. Anderson, M. P. Poland, E. Montgomery-Brown, I. Johanson, W. Thelen, and T. Elias (2020), The cascading origin of the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and implications for future forecasting, Nature Communications, 11, doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19190-1

Flinders, A. F., I. A. Johanson, P. B. Dawson, K. R. Anderson, M. H. Haney, B. R. Shiro (2020), Very long period (VLP) seismic artifacts during the 2018 caldera collapse at Kīlauea, Hawai‘iSeismological Research Letters, 91 (6), doi:10.1785/0220200083

Segall, P., K. R. Anderson, F. Pulvirenti, T. Wang, and I. Johanson (2020), Caldera collapse geometry revealed by near-field GPS displacements at Kīlauea Volcano in 2018Geophysical Research Letters, 47, doi:10.1029/2020GL088867

Lerner, A. H., D. O'Hara, L. Karlstrom, S. K. Ebmeier, K. R. Anderson, and S. Hurwitz (2020), The prevalence and significance of offset magma reservoirs at arc volcanoesGeophysical Research Letters, 47 (14), doi:10.1029/2020GL087856

Neal, C. A. and K. R. Anderson (2020), Preliminary analyses of volcanic hazards at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i, 2017–2018U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1002, 34 p., doi:10.3133/ofr20201002

Poland, M. and K. R. Anderson (2020), Partly cloudy with a chance of lava flows: forecasting volcanic eruptions in the 21st century, Reviews of Geophysics/ Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1029/2018JB016974

Hurwitz, S. and K. R. Anderson (2019), Temporal variations in scrubbing of magmatic gases at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i, Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (24), doi:10.1029/2019GL085904

Anderson, K. R., I. A. Johanson, M. R. Patrick, M. Gu, P. Segall, M. P. Poland, E. K. Montgomery-Brown, A. Miklius (2019), Magma reservoir failure and the onset of caldera collapse at Kīlauea Volcano in 2018, Science, doi:10.1126/science.aaz1822

M. R. Patrick, H. R. Dietterich, J. J. Lyons, A. K. Diefenbach, C. Parcheta, K. R. Anderson, A. Namiki, I. Sumita, B. Shiro, J. P. Kauahikaua (2019), Cyclic lava effusion during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Science, doi:10.1126/science.aay9070

Segall, P., K. R. Anderson, I Johanson, A. Miklius (2019), Mechanics of inflationary deformation during caldera collapse: Evidence from the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2019GL084689

Delgado, F., J. Kubanek, K. Anderson, P. Lundgren, and M. Pritchard (2019), Physicochemical models of effusive rhyolitic eruptions constrained with InSAR and DEM data: a case study of the 2011-2012 Cordón Caulle eruption, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 524, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2019.115736

Johnson, J.H., M.P. Poland, K. R. Anderson, J. Biggs (2019), A cautionary tale of topography and tilt from Kīlauea Caldera, Geophysical Research Letters, 46, doi:10.1029/2018GL081757

Patrick, M., T. Orr, K. Anderson, and D. Swanson (2019), Eruptions in sync: Improved constraints on Kīlauea Volcano's hydraulic connection, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 507, pp. 50-61, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2018.11.030

Neal, C.A, S.R. Brantley, L. Antolik, J. Babb, M. Burgess, K. Calles, M. Cappos, J. C. Chang, S. Conway, L. Desmither, P. Dotray, T. Elias, P. Fukunaga, S. Fuke, I. A. Johanson, K. Kamibayashi, J. Kauahikaua, R. L. Lee, S. Pekalib, A. Miklius, W. Million, C. J. Moniz, P. A. Nadeau, P. Okubo, C. Parcheta, M. P. Patrick, B. Shiro, D. A. Swanson, W. Tollett, F. Trusdell, E. F. Younger, M. H. Zoeller, E. K. Montgomery-Brown, K. R. Anderson, M. P. Poland, J. Ball, J. Bard, M. Coombs, H. R. Dietterich, C. Kern, W. A. Thelen, P. F. Cervelli, T. Orr, B. F. Houghton, C. Gansecki, R. Hazlett, P. Lundgren, A. K. Diefenbach, A. H. Lerner, G. Waite, P. Kelly, L. Clor, C. Werner, K. Mulliken, G. Fisher (2019), The 2018 rift eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea Volcano, Science, doi:10.1126/science.aav7046

Arnold, D. W. D., J. Biggs, K. Anderson, S. Vallejo Vargas, G. Wadge, S. K. Ebmeier, M. F. Naranjo, and P. Mothes (2017), Decaying lava extrusion rate at El Reventador Volcano, Ecuador measured using high-resolution satellite radar, Journal of Geophysical Research, 122, pp. 9966-9988, doi:10.1002/2017JB014580

Wong, Y-Q., P. Segall, A. Bradley, and K. R. Anderson (2017), Constraining the magmatic system at Mount St. Helens (2004-2008) using Bayesian inversion with physics-based models including gas escape and crystallization, Journal of Geophysical Research, 122 (10), pp. 7789–7812,  doi:10.1002/2017JB014343

Anderson, K. R., and M. P. Poland (2017), Abundant carbon in the mantle beneath Hawaiʻi, Nature Geoscience, 10 (9), pp. 704-708, doi: 10.1038/NGEO3007

Anderson, K. R., and M. P. Poland (2016), Bayesian estimation of magma supply, storage, and eruption rates using a multiphysical volcano model: Kīlauea Volcano, 2000-2012, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 447, pp. 161-171, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.04.029

Poland, M. P., T. R. Orr, J. P. Kauahikaua, S. R. Brantley, J. L. Babb, M. R. Patrick, C. A. Neal, K. R. Anderson, et al. (2016), The 2014-2015 Pāhoa lava flow crisis at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i: Disaster avoided and lessons learned, GSA Today, 26 (2), pp. 4-10, doi:10.1130/GSATG262A.1

Dzurisin, D., S. C. Moran, M. Lisowski, S. P. Schilling, K. R. Anderson, and C. Werner (2015), The 2004-2008 dome-building eruption at Mount St. Helens, Washington: Epilogue, Bulletin of Volcanology, 77 (10), pp. 77-89, doi:10.1007/s00445-015-0973-4

Patrick, M. R., K. R. Anderson, M. P. Poland, T. R. Orr and D. A. Swanson (2015), Lava lake level as a gauge of magma reservoir pressure and eruptive hazard, Geology, vol. 43, pp. 831-834, doi:10.1130/G36896

Anderson, K. R., M. P. Poland, J. H. Johnson, and A. Miklius (2015), Episodic deflation-inflation events at Kīlauea Volcano and implications for the shallow magma system, Chapter 11 in Hawaiian Volcanism: From Source to Surface, edited by R. Carey, M. Poland, V. Cayol and D. Weis, AGU Geophysical Monograph Series vol. 208, pp. 229-250, doi:10.1002/9781118872079.ch11

P. Segall and K. Anderson (2014), Look up for magma insights, Nature Geoscience, 7 (3), 2 pp., doi:10.1038/ngeo2064

Anderson, K. and P. Segall (2013), Bayesian inversion of data from effusive volcanic eruptions using physics-based models: Application to Mount St. Helens 2004-2008, Journal of Geophysical Research, 118 (5), 20 pp., doi:10.1002/jgrb.50169

Anderson, K. and P. Segall (2011), Physics-based models of ground deformation and extrusion rate at effusively erupting volcanoes, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116 (B7), 20 pp., doi:10.1029/2010JB007939

Anderson, K., M. Lisowski, and P. Segall (2010), Cyclic ground tilt associated with the 2004-2008 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (B11), 29 pp., doi:10.1029/2009JB007102

Data Releases

Patrick, M., H. Dietterich, J. Lyons, A. Diefenbach, C. Parcheta, K. Anderson, A. Namiki, I. Sumita, and J. Kauahikaua (2019), Cyclic lava effusion during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano: U.S. Geological Survey ScienceBase Data Release, doi:10.5066/P9PJZ17R