Dr Susan Loughlin

Dr Susan Loughlin

Team Leader Volcanology

Location: Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 6500 417

E-mail Dr Susan Loughlin


  •  2008 – ongoing : Head of Volcanology
  •  2004 –2006 : Director of Montserrat Volcano Observatory
  •  1999 –2003 : BGS Geologist (e.g. mapping ignimbrites)
  •  1997 –1999 : Deputy Chief Scientist (job share) of Montserrat Volcano Observatory
  •  1995 : BGS Geologist, Borrowdale Volcanic Group, Lake District
  •  1995 : PhD University of Durham, The Evolution of the Eyjafjoll Volcanic System, Southern Iceland
  •  1991 : BSc University of Leicester, Geology


  • Physical volcanology
  • Geological mapping of volcanic terrains
  • Volcano monitoring
  • Igneous petrology/geochemistry
  • GSI-3D, ArcGIS

Research interests

  • Communicating science
  • Environmental and social impacts of volcanic eruptions
  • Explosive eruptions
  • Lava dome eruptions
  • Physical volcanology
  • Risk and uncertainty
  • Science into policy and procedure
  • Volcanic hazards (primary and secondary)

Current projects and collaboration

  • Global Volcano Model : Volcanic Hazards and risk
  • Futurevolc
  • European Volcano Observatory Space Services
  • NERC Consortium : Characterisation of the Near-Field Eyjafjallajökull Volcanic Plume and its Long-range Influence
  • UK resilience (Civil Contingencies Secretariat, UK Met. Office, Iceland Met. Office, NCAS, BGS, CEH, Leeds University)
  • WMO-IUGG Ash dispersal forecast and civil aviation workshops
  • Co-supervised PhD projects:
  • Evaluating the role of community-based monitoring in improving the mitigation of natural hazards: a case study on Montserrat, West Indies (University of East Anglia)
  • Petrological and geochemical monitoring of the most active volcano in North America- Volcan Fuego de Colima, Mexico. (Leeds University)
  • A multi-disciplinary approach to volcanic risk reduction under conditions of uncertainty: a case study on Tristan da Cunha (University of East Anglia)
  • The role of cold supraglacial volcanic deposits in controlling ice ablation rates of glaciers (Lancaster University)
  • Evolution of the crust and the magmatic system at Montserrat, Lesser Antilles (University of Bristol)

Professional association

  • Member of IAVCEI and various  working groups

Published outputs

Key papers

Loughlin, S. C. 2013. ‘Volcanoes and Volcanic Eruptions’ In: Bobrowski, P. (Ed), Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards, Springer.

Stephenson, J. A., Loughlin, S. C. et al. 2012. Distal deposition of tephra from the Eyjafjallajokull 2010 summit eruption, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, doi:10.1029/2011JB008904.

Stevenson, J. A., Loughlin, S. C. et al. 2013. UK monitoring and deposition of tephra from the May 2011 eruption of Grímsvötn, Iceland, Journal of Applied Volcanology, 2:3

Wadge, G., Voight, B., Sparks, R. S. J., Cole, P., Loughlin, S. C. 2013. An overview of the Eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano from 2000-2010. Montserrat Special Issue (Geological Society Memoir). In press.