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IAVCEI conference 2023

Group photo by Lake Rotorua (only on the last day could we see to the other side!)

Old Members’ Trust Graduate Conference and Academic Travel Fund Report – Bei Bei Morrison Evans (2021, DPhil Earth Sciences)

At the start of 2023 I attended the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) conference in Rotorua, New Zealand. IAVCEI meet every four years and with the last meeting postponed due to covid-19, volcanologists from around the world finally assembled for an incredible week of science and discussions (with a few hiccups involving a tropical storm, a cyclone, extreme rainfall and flooding, and hundreds of cancelled flights).

Fortunately, I arrived for before the first storm to attend one of the pre-conference field trips (which we got absolutely soaked during – but learnt a lot!). We explored some of the 53 volcanoes in Auckland and learnt that they are sacred Māori sites, as people used to live and grow and cook food within the dormant volcanic craters. Many of these volcanoes were then quarried away as building material; those that remain are now protected geoheritage sites. We also saw fossilised forests, lava tree molds and pyroclastic density current deposits.

Champagne pools (Artists Palette) at Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Park.

We then made our way to the geothermal town of Rotorua for the Pōwhiri welcome ceremony and start of the conference. The conference covered all aspects of volcanology from the architecture of magmatic systems beneath the surface and eruption triggers, to hazard monitoring and communication. I had a poster on the second day of the conference, where I presented my recent findings and had lots of really interesting discussions about both the broader concepts of my project and the finer experimental details, gaining valuable feedback.

On the third day of the conference we had the opportunity to attend a mid-week field trip. I chose to head out to the nearby geothermal power plants which provide ~18% of New Zealand’s energy. The last two days of the conference were again filled with exciting talks and posters, with lunchtime volcano outreach activities for members of the public to join too.

I then attended one of the post-conference field trips about the numerous smaller lava domes in the Taupō volcanic region that are ‘hidden’ by the bigger caldera forming eruption deposits. We climbed to the top of one lava dome, hiked into another and took a boat tour across Lake Taupō to see the exposed caldera walls.

I feel inspired by the amount and range of work produced by the volcanology community and presented at IAVCEI 2023. I look forward to returning to the lab to continue with my next set of high pressure and temperature experiments and to find out where erupted magmas originate.

I would like to thank Univ for their contribution towards my attendance of this conference, I greatly appreciate it.

Find out more about the range of travel grants and scholarships available to assist Univ students on our Travel Grants page or read further travel reports.

Published: 22 May 2023

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