Ben Kennedy

Associate ProfessorBen Kennedy

Physical Volcanology
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 213
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

  • Garden TO., Chambefort I., Gravley DM., Deering CD. and Kennedy BM. (2020) Reconstruction of the fossil hydrothermal system at Lake City caldera, Colorado, U.S.A.: Constraints for caldera-hosted geothermal systems. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 393
  • Heap MJ., Gravley DM., Kennedy BM., Gilg HA., Bertolett E. and Barker SLL. (2020) Quantifying the role of hydrothermal alteration in creating geothermal and epithermal mineral resources: The Ohakuri ignimbrite (Taupō Volcanic Zone, New Zealand). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 390
  • 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.