Amilea Sork

Studying towards a PhD in Geological Sciences
From launch to landing: Flight dynamics of molten volcanic ballistics.

Location: Ernest Rutherford 262
Country of origin: USA
Amilea Sork

I’m a fairly recent transplant to New Zealand; I moved from flat, sunny Florida USA to Christchurch in February 2019. Prior to the move I worked as a GIS analyst for a big Space Coast corporation. I am happy to be at a bit more of a peaceful pace now, and to be able to see mountains!

My PhD research focus is the in-flight and post-flight behaviour of molten volcanic ballistics, or “bombs”. Bombs are liquid to partially liquid, so they change shape as they fly through the air. Shape change means a change in drag force, and a change in drag force means a change to the bomb’s ballistic trajectory. I will be using a combination of field work, high-speed video, and computer analysis to investigate the effects of this changing drag force on molten ballistic hazard footprint. This will impact interpretation and communication of volcanic hazard risk at volcanic sites worldwide.

Research Interests

  • Volcanology
  • Volcanic hazards
  • Planetary geology
  • Remote sensing and GIS applications

Working thesis title

From launch to landing: Flight dynamics of molten volcanic ballistics.

Personal Interests

In my free time I’m a bit more indoorsy; I am fond of reading and video games.

Academic History

BSc Honours in Geology, University of Canterbury (2021)

BSc in Solar, Earth, and Planetary Physics, Florida Institute of Technology (2014)