I am a volcanologist with a specialization in volcanic gases. Such gases are ultimately what drive volcanism and can give precursory signals in advance of eruptions. My research involves studying the amounts, behavior, and chemistry of those gases, with a goal of improving our understanding of their role in volcanic activity.
Over the course of my career as a volcanologist, I have worked on a wide range of projects. But the common factor between all of them is volcanic volatiles, otherwise known as volcanic gases. My research goal has always been to better understand how those volcanic gases behave in volcanic systems, before, during, and after eruption. This has meant that I’ve gotten to study how volcanic gas plumes interact with topography and vegetation in Nicaragua; the chemistry of tiny amounts of volatiles trapped within rocks erupted tens of thousands of years ago in Alaska; connections between escaping gas, seismicity, and explosive eruptions in Guatemala; and even how different volatiles dissolve in magma when you create your own tiny, high-temperature molten rock in a laboratory.
Here at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, my focus is still volcanic gases. HVO routinely monitors gas emissions from Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes using a range of permanent measurement stations and portable instrumentation. In addition to monitoring, I conduct research on gas chemistry using MultiGAS sensors, FTIR spectroscopy, and direct sampling. For research on gas emission rates, I use UV spectrometers and UV cameras. Recently, I have also been involved in new initiatives at HVO to use UAS (unoccupied aircraft systems) to measure gas chemistry, emission rates, and sample volcanic plumes, as well as to sample the short-lived water lake at Kīlauea summit. I also use measurements of volatiles still dissolved in rock and mineral samples to supplement my work on gas emissions.
I spent a number of years as an educator before arriving at HVO and very much value science education, especially for young students. So, in addition to my research and monitoring efforts at HVO, I participate in a number of outreach activities with students of all ages.
Research Geologist – USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (Hilo, HI; 2018 – present)
Visiting Assistant Professor – Ohio University (Athens, OH)
Temporary Assistant Professor – Salem State University (Salem, MA)
Kathryn W. Davis Research and Education Fellow – American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY)
Hydrologic Technician – USGS New York Water Science Center (Troy, NY)
Education and Certifications
Michigan Technological University, Ph.D. – Geology
Simon Fraser University, M.Sc. – Earth Sciences
McGill University, B.Sc. Hons. – Earth Sciences
Science and Products
Colorimeter data for the summit water lake at Kīlauea Volcano, Island of Hawaiʻi, 2020
Chemical and isotopic composition of gas, water, and solids from the 2019-2020 water lake in Halema’uma’u Crater, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii
Volcanic plume heights from the summit of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i
Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy data acquired during the 2018 rift eruption of Kilauea Volcano
The petrologic and degassing behavior of sulfur and other magmatic volatiles from the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea, Hawaiʻi: Melt concentrations, magma storage depths, and magma recycling
Monitoring network changes during the 2018 Kīlauea Volcano eruption
From lava to water: A new era at Kīlauea
Quantifying gas emissions associated with the 2018 rift eruption of Kīlauea Volcano using ground-based DOAS measurements
The 2018 rift eruption and summit collapse of Kilauea Volcano
Science and Products
Colorimeter data for the summit water lake at Kīlauea Volcano, Island of Hawaiʻi, 2020In 2018, a large effusive eruption on the lower flank of Kīlauea Volcano was associated with collapse and subsidence of the summit caldera floor (Neal and others, 2019). The bottom of Halemaʻumaʻu, a crater nested within the summit caldera, subsided by more than 500 m. In July 2019, water was observed ponding on the deepest part of the Halemaʻumaʻu crater floor and the water rose and enlarged in
Chemical and isotopic composition of gas, water, and solids from the 2019-2020 water lake in Halema’uma’u Crater, Kīlauea Volcano, HawaiiFollowing the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano (Neal et al, 2019) and the subsequent collapse of the Halema’uma’u crater, groundwater gradually seeped into the newly-deepened crater (Nadeau and others, 2020). Water was first observed in the crater on 7/26/2019, and the water level increased over time until 12/20/2020, when the crater again filled with lava, vaporizing the lake. In the intervening
Volcanic plume heights from the summit of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'iThis data release provides volcanic plume heights from the summit of Kilauea Volcano for 2008-2015, and during the eruptive events of 2018. For 2018, a Secacam Wild Vision Full HD camera with a 7mm focal length was located at 1717 m elevation approximately 15 m south of the Mauna Loa Strip Road within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, 19.475843degreesN, 155.363560degreesW (WGS84). The camera was po
Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy data acquired during the 2018 rift eruption of Kilauea VolcanoA fissure eruption occurred in K?lauea Volcano?s Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) from April to September 2018. During this event, volcanic gases were emitted from three active areas on the volcano. The most intense degassing occurred at the active fissures in the LERZ, thus causing parts of Hawai?i Island?s Puna district to be exposed to life-threatening sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations. At the sam
The petrologic and degassing behavior of sulfur and other magmatic volatiles from the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea, Hawaiʻi: Melt concentrations, magma storage depths, and magma recyclingKīlauea Volcano’s 2018 lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption produced exceptionally high lava effusion rates and record-setting SO2 emissions. The eruption involved a diverse range of magmas, including primitive basalts sourced from Kīlauea’s summit reservoirs. We analyzed LERZ matrix glasses, melt inclusions, and host minerals to identify melt volatile contents and magma storage depths. The LERZ gAuthorsAllan Lerner, Paul J. Wallace, Thomas Shea, Adrien Mourey, Peter J. Kelly, Patricia Nadeau, Tamar Elias, Christoph Kern, Laura E. Clor, Cheryl Gansecki, R. Lopaka Lee, Lowell Moore, Cynthia A. Werner
Monitoring network changes during the 2018 Kīlauea Volcano eruptionIn the summer of 2018, Kīlauea Volcano underwent one of its most significant eruptions in the past few hundred years. The volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone magma system partially drained, resulting in a series of occasionally explosive partial caldera collapses, and widespread lava flows in the lower East Rift Zone. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) operates a robust permanent monitoring neAuthorsBrian Shiro, Michael H. Zoeller, Kevan Kamibayashi, Ingrid Johanson, Carolyn Parcheta, Matthew R. Patrick, Patricia Nadeau, R. Lopaka Lee, Asta Miklius
From lava to water: A new era at KīlaueaNo abstract available.AuthorsPatricia Nadeau, Angela K. Diefenbach, Shaul Hurwitz, Donald A. Swanson
Quantifying gas emissions associated with the 2018 rift eruption of Kīlauea Volcano using ground-based DOAS measurementsStarting on 3 May 2018, a series of eruptive fissures opened in Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone (LERZ). Over the course of the next 3 months, intense degassing accompanied lava effusion from these fissures. Here, we report on ground-based observations of the gas emissions associated with Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption. Visual observations combined with radiative transfer modeling show that ultraviAuthorsChristoph Kern, Allan Lerner, Tamar Elias, Patricia Nadeau, Lacey Holland, Peter J. Kelly, Cynthia Werner, Laura E. Clor, Michael Cappos
The 2018 rift eruption and summit collapse of Kilauea VolcanoIn 2018, Kīlauea Volcano experienced its largest lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption and caldera collapse in at least 200 years. After collapse of the Pu'u 'Ō'ō vent on 30 April, magma propagated downrift. Eruptive fissures opened in the LERZ on 3 May, eventually extending ~6.8 km. A 4 May earthquake (M6.9) produced ~5 m of fault slip. Lava erupted at rates exceeding 100 m3/s, eventually coveriAuthorsChristina A. Neal, Steven Brantley, Loren Antolik, Janet Babb, Matthew K. Burgess, Michael Cappos, Jefferson Chang, Sarah Conway, Liliana Desmither, Peter Dotray, Tamar Elias, Pauline Fukunaga, Steven Fuke, Ingrid Johanson, Kevan Kamibayashi, James P. Kauahikaua, R. Lopaka Lee, S. Pekalib, Asta Miklius, Brian Shiro, Don Swanson, Patricia Nadeau, Michael H. Zoeller, P. Okubo, Carolyn Parcheta, Matthew R. Patrick, William Tollett, Frank A. Trusdell, Edward F. Younger, Emily Montgomery-Brown, Kyle R. Anderson, Michael P. Poland, Jessica L. Ball, Joseph A. Bard, Michelle L. Coombs, Hannah R. Dietterich, Christoph Kern, Weston Thelen, Peter Cervelli, Tim R. Orr, Bruce F. Houghton, Cheryl Gansecki, Richard Hazlett, Paul Lundgren, Angela K. Diefenbach, Allan Lerner, Greg Waite, Peter J. Kelly, Laura E. Clor, Cynthia Werner, Katherine Mulliken, Gary B. Fisher, David Damby