Ben Kennedy

Associate ProfessorBen Kennedy

Physical Volcanology
West 321
Internal Phone: 94437
My research and teaching are driven by a love of volcanoes, and fueled by experiments and projects that are fun, exciting, and important to society


Research Interests

I love rocks and working out why volcanoes erupt in various different ways. To do this I travel to various volcanoes all around New Zealand (e.g. Tongariro, Ruapehu, White Island, Auckland, Banks Peninsula and the world (e.g. Krafla, Iceland, Puyueyue, Chile, Kilauea, Hawaii, Yasur, Vanuatu) and collect rocks.
I then take the rocks back to UC and do various experiments to learn more about the eruptions that they originated from.
Some fun projects I am involved in at the moment are:
Shaking Magma to drive volcanic eruptions.
Drilling into a magma chamber at Krafla in Iceland to make geothermal energy.
Mapping the hazard and impact from volcanic ballistics using drones and cannons.
Making lava flows in the lab
Researching how students learn on virtual and real fieldtrips.
Linking eruption video observations with monitoring data at White island, New Zealand and Yasur, Vanuatu

Recent Publications

  • Bertolett EM., Prior DJ., Gravley DM., Hampton SJ. and Kennedy BM. (2019) Compacted cumulates revealed by electron backscatter diffraction analysis of plutonic lithics. Geology 47(5): 445-448.
  • Bischoff A., Rossetti M., Nicol A. and Kennedy B. (2019) Seismic reflection and petrographic interpretation of a buried monogenetic volcanic Field (part 1). Bulletin of Volcanology 81(9)
  • Clarke J., Adam L., Sarout J., van Wijk K., Kennedy B. and Dautriat J. (2019) The relation between viscosity and acoustic emissions as a laboratory analogue for volcano seismicity. Geology 47(6): 499-503.
  • Farquharson JI., Wild B., Kushnir ARL., Heap MJ., Baud P. and Kennedy B. (2019) Acid-Induced Dissolution of Andesite: Evolution of Permeability and Strength. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 124(1): 257-273.
  • Jolley A., Hampton S., Brogt E., Kennedy B., Fraser L. and Knox A. (2019) Student field experiences: Designing for different instructors and variable weather. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 43(1): 71-95.