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

  • 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.
  • Park I., Jolly A., Kim KY. and Kennedy B. (2019) Temporal variations of repeating low frequency volcanic earthquakes at Ngauruhoe Volcano, New Zealand. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 373: 108-119.
  • Ashwell PA., Kennedy BM., Edwards M. and Cole JW. (2018) Characteristics and consequences of lava dome collapse at Ruawahia, Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. Bulletin of Volcanology 80(5)
  • Cook SCW., Kennedy BM. and Villeneuve MC. (2018) Engineering geology model of the Crater Lake outlet, Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand, to inform rim breakout hazard. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research