Michelle Coombs, Ph.D.

 

Biography

Michelle has been a Research Geologist for USGS-AVO in Anchorage since 2004. Her work includes research on a wide variety of topics in geology, petrology, and geochemistry, as well as geologic mapping and hazards assessment. Recent and current research interests include (1) timing and generation of explosive silicic eruptions at Alaskan volcanoes, especially Augustine and Hayes; (2) refined edifice mapping and eruptive history of Akutan, Spurr, and Redoubt volcanoes; and (3) combining petrologic study with detailed eruption chronologies to elucidate processes of magma generation and eruption triggering at dome-forming volcanoes such as Redoubt and Augustine. 

Since March 2016, Michelle has been AVO's Scientist-in-Charge.

Prior to 2004, she worked for the USGS in Menlo Park, CA, where her research focused on the geochemistry, petrology, and submarine geology of Hawaiian volcanoes.

 

EDUCATION

Williams College, BA Geology, 1994

University of Alaska Fairbanks, PhD Geology, 2001

 

POSITIONS

2016-present: Scientist-in-Charge, Alaska Volcano Observatory, Volcano Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK

2004–2016: Research Geologist, Alaska Volcano Observatory

2001–2004: Research Geologist, Volcano Hazards Team, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park CA

 

PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS

Geology and eruptive histories of volcanoes, petrology and geochemistry of volcanic rocks, volcanic hazards, volcanic landslides, submarine volcanism

 

OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Associate editor, Bulletin of Volcanology, 2013–2016

Editorial board member, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2007–present

Member, 2016 Earthscope National Meeting Organizing Committee

 

AWARDS

Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2012      

Elected Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2015  

 

MEMBERSHIPS

American Geophysical Union, 1996–present

Geological Society of America, 2011–present

International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, 1999–present

 

Publications:

38.  Coombs, M.L., and Vazquez, J., 2014, Cogenetic late Pleistocene rhyolite and cumulate diorites from Augustine Volcano revealed by SIMS 238U-230Th dating of zircon, and implications for silicic magma generation by extraction from mush: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 15, doi:10.1002/2014GC005589.

37.  Wallace, K., Coombs, M.L., Hayden, L., and Waythomas, C., 2014, Insights from a proximal stratigraphic sequence from Hayes Volcano, southcentral Alaska, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5133, 32 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2014/5133/

36.  De Angelis, S., Larsen, J., and Coombs, M.L., 2013, Pre-eruptive magmatic conditions at Augustine Volcano, 2006: Evidence from amphibole geochemistry and textures: Journal of Petrology, v. 54, p. 1939‒1961.

35.  Wessels, R.L., Vaughan, R.G., Patrick, M., and Coombs, M.L., 2013, High-resolution satellite and airborne thermal infrared imaging of precursory unrest and 2009 eruption at Redoubt Volcano, Alaska: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 259, p. 248‒269.

34.  Wallace, K.W., Schaefer, J., and Coombs, M.L., 2013, Character, mass distribution, and origin of tephra-fall deposits from the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska—Highlighting the significance of particle aggregation: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 259, p. 145‒169.

33.  Bleick, H., Coombs, M.L., Cervelli, P.F., Bull, K.F., and Wessels, R.L., 2013, Volcano-ice interactions precursory to the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 259, p. 373‒388.

32.  Coombs, M.L., Sisson, T.W., Bleick, H., Henton, S., Nye, C.J., Payne, A., Cameron, C., Larsen, J.F., Wallace, K., and Bull, K.F., 2013, Andesites of the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 259, p. 349‒372.

31.  Coombs, M.L., and Bacon, C.R., 2012, Using rocks to reveal the inner workings of magma chambers below volcanoes in Alaska’s National Parks: Alaska Park Science vol. 11, p. 27-33. Link.

30.  Jicha, B.R., Coombs, M.L., Calvert, A.T., and Singer, B.S., 2012, Geology and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of the medium- to high-K Tanaga volcanic cluster, western Aleutians: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 124, p. 842‒856.

29.  Coombs, M.L., McGimsey, R.G., and Browne, B.L., 2011, Geologic map of Mount Gareloi, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3145.

28.  Wessels, R.L., Coombs, M.L., Schneider, D.J., Dehn, J., and Ramsey, M.S., 2010, High-resolution satellite and airborne thermal infrared imaging of the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, in Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T., eds., The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, 527–552.

27.  Webster, J.D., Mandeville, C.W., Goldoff, B., Coombs, M.L., and Tappen, C., 2010, Augustine Volcano—The influence of volatile components in magmas erupted A.D. 2006 to 2,100 Years Before Present, in Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T., eds., The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, 383–423.

26.  Vallance, J.W., Bull, K.F., and Coombs, M.L., 2010, Pyroclastic flows, lahars, and mixed avalanches generated during the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, in Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T., eds., The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, p. 219–267.

25.  Larsen, J.F., Nye, C.J., Coombs, M.L., Tilman, M., Izbekov, P., and Cameron, C., 2010, Petrology and geochemistry of the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, in Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T., eds., The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, p. 335–382.

24.  Coombs, M.L., Bull, K.F., Vallance, J.W., Schneider, D.J., Thoms, E.E., Wessels, R., and McGimsey, R.G., 2010, Timing, distribution, and volume of proximal products of the 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska, in Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J., eds., The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska:  U.S.G.S. Professional Paper 1769, p. 145–185, 1 plate.

23.  Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J., eds., 2010, The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska:  U.S.G.S. Professional Paper 1769, 663 p, 1 plate. Available online (as are the following chapters) at http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1769/index.html

22.  Sisson, T.W., Kimura, J.-I., and Coombs, M.L., 2009, Basanite–nephelinite suite from early Kilauea: carbonated melts of phlogopite-garnet peridotite at Hawaii’s leading magmatic edge: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 158, p. 803–829

21.  Coombs, M.L., McGimsey, R.G., and Browne, B.L., 2008, Preliminary volcano-hazard assessment for Gareloi Volcano, Gareloi Island, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5159, 36 p., 1 plate. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2008/5159/

20.  Coombs, M.L., McGimsey, R.G., and Browne, B.L., 2007, Preliminary volcanic-hazard assessment for the Tanaga volcanic cluster, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5094, 36 p., 1 plate. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2007/5094/

19.  Coombs, M.L., White, S., and Scholl, D., 2007, Massive edifice failure at Aleutian arc volcanoes: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 256, p. 403–418.

18.  Coombs, M.L., Neal, C.A., Wessels, R.L., and McGimsey, R.G., 2006, Geothermal disruption of summit glaciers at Mount Spurr Volcano, 2004-6: An unusual manifestation of volcanic unrest, in Haeussler, Peter J., and Galloway, John P., Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, 2005:  U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1732-B, 33 p. [available at URL http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/pp1732/pp1732b/ ]

17.  Power, J., Nye, C.J., Coombs, M.L., Wessels, R.L., Cervelli, P.F., Dehn, J., Wallace, K.L., Freymuller, J.T., Doukas, M.P., 2006, The reawakening of Alaska’s Augustine Volcano. Eos, v. 87, p. 373, 374.

16.  Lipman, P., Sisson, T., Coombs, M., and Kimura, J.-I., 2006, Piggyback tectonics:  Long-term growth of Kilauea on the south flank of Mauna Loa: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 151, p. 73–108.

15.  Lipman, P., and Coombs, M., 2006, Submarine slump failure during the early(?) tholeiitic shield stage of a Hawaiian volcano: North Kona flank of Hualalai: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 151, p. 189–216.

14.  Kimura, J.-I., Sisson, T.W., Nakano, N., Coombs, M., and Lipman, P., 2006, Isotope geochemistry of early Kilauea magmas from the submarine Hilina bench: The nature of the Hilina mantle component: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 151, p. 51–72.

13.  Hammer, J., Coombs, M., Shamberger, P., and Kimura, J.-I., 2006, Submarine sliver in North Kona: A window into the early magmatic and growth history of Hualalai Volcano, Hawaii: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 151, 157–188.

12.  Coombs, M., Sisson, T., and Lipman, P., 2006, Growth history of Kilauea inferred from volatile concentrations in submarine-collected basalts: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 151, p. 19–49.

11.  Coombs, M.L., Eakins, B.W., and Cervelli, P.F. (eds.), 2006, Growth and collapse of Hawaiian volcanoes: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 151, 317 p.

10.  Coombs, M., Sisson, T., and Lipman, P., 2004, Major-element, sulfur, and chlorine compositions of glasses from the submarine flank of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, collected during 1998-2002 Japan Marine Science and Technology Center cruises: U.S.G.S. Open-File Report 2004-1378.

9.     Coombs, M., Clague, D., Moore, G., and Cousens, B., 2004, The growth and collapse of Waianae volcano, Hawaii, as revealed by exploration of its submarine flanks: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 5, doi: 10.1029/2004GC000717.

8.     Coombs, M., and Gardner, J., 2004, Reaction rim growth on olivine in silicic melt: Implications for magma mixing: American Mineralogist, v. 89, p. 748–759

7.     Coombs, M., Sisson, T., and Kimura, J.-I., 2004, Ultra-high chlorine in submarine Kilauea glasses: Evidence for assimilation of brine by magma: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 217, p. 297–313.

6.     Coombs, M., Eichelberger, J., and Rutherford, M., 2003, Experimental and textural constraints on mafic enclave formation in volcanic rocks: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 119, p. 125–144.

5.     Coombs, M., and Gardner, J., 2001, Shallow storage conditions for the rhyolite of the 1912 eruption of Katmai, Alaska: Geology, v. 29, p. 775–778.

4.     Coombs, M., 2001, Experimental and petrologic constraints on magma movement, storage, and interactions at two volcanoes in Katmai National Park, Alaska: Fairbanks, University of Alaska, Ph.D. thesis, 214 p.

3.     Coombs, M., Eichelberger, J., and Rutherford, M., 2000, Magma storage and mixing conditions for the 1953-1968 eruption of Southwest Trident volcano, Katmai National Park, Alaska: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 140, p. 99–118.

2.     Miller, T., Chertkoff, D., Eichelberger, J., and Coombs, M., 1999, Mount Dutton volcano, Alaska: Aleutian Arc analog to Unzen Volcano, Japan: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 89, p. 275–301.

1.     Wiebe, R., Holden, J., Coombs, M., Wobus, R., Schuh, K., and Plummer, B., 1997, The Cadillac Mountain intrusive complex, Maine: The role of shallow-level magma chamber processes in the generation of A-type granites, in Sinha, A., Whalen, J., and Hogan, J., eds., The Nature of Magmatism in the Appalachian Orogen:  Geological Society of America Memoir 191, p. 397–418.