Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

NERC Independent Research Fellow

I’m a NERC Independent Research Fellow and the fundamental goal of my future research is to understand the controls over volcanic explosivity. I use a combination of fieldwork and experimental & analytical petrology to understand how volcanoes can change their eruptive style. I work on volcanoes based in Indonesia, Mexico, Iceland, Chile and the Caribbean.

I am also interested in various other aspects of Earth Science including:

  • High temperature and pressure experiments
  • Linking volcanic monitoring with petrological studies
  • Creation of volcanic records using deposits on land and in the marine environment
  • Transitions between effusive and explosive eruptions
  • Volcanic degassing
  • Large magnitude explosive eruptions and their global catastrophic effects
  • Magma genesis at arc volcanoes using geochemistry


2017 Present: NERC Independent Research FellowUniversity of Oxford

2014  2016: Humboldt Research FellowJohannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany

2013 – 2014: Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, Plymouth University

2012  2014: Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, University of Southampton

2012: Research Assistant, University of Cambridge

2008 – 2012PhD (NERC studentship) – Ocean and Earth Science,University of Southampton

2007 –  2008: MSc – Volcanology and Geological Hazards, Lancaster University

2006: Volunteer Research AssistantUniversity of Colima and UNAM, Mexico

2003 – 2006: BSc – Geology, University of Bristol

Experimental volcanology lab

I have recently constructed Cold Seal Pressure Vessels (CSPVs) which are capable of simulating temperatures and pressures experienced in magma reservoirs underneath silicic volcanoes (up to ~950°C & 200 MPa).

Photo by Ian Wallman

DPhil Student Supervision

Amber Madden-Nadeau

Annika Voight

Anna Brookfield

Kyra Cutler

Kerys Meredew (Birmingham)



  • Co-PI NERC Urgency grant (2019). Interactions between eruptive activity and sector collapse at Anak Krakatau, Indonesia (Value: £65,000)
  • PI of Diamond Light Source Synchrotron proposal (2018). Tracking magmatic changes prior to large explosive and effusive eruptions’ (Value: £57,564)
  • PI of NERC Ion Microprobe facility (2018) entitled ‘Towards monitoring temperature and water variations in shallow magma bodies using volcanic gases’ (Value: £24,000)
  • PI of DFG German Standard Grant (2016) ‘What controlled the explosivity and sulfur release of the largest recent explosive eruption on Earth?’ Transferred to a full 3.5 year PhD-funded project to Oxford in 2018. (Value: €192,200)
  • PI of NERC Independent Research Fellowship (2017-2022) entitled, ‘Towards improved forecasting of volcanic explosivity: Investigating the role of magma mixing’ (Value: £528,280)
  • PI of Alexander von Humboldt 2 year Independent Fellowship (2015-2017) entitled, ‘Effusive or explosive: What controls the eruptive behaviour of volcanoes?’ (Value: €87,066)
  • Co-PI of COSMO-SkyMed Radar Science and Innovation Research (CORSAIR) Programme, UK Space Agency, 30 CosmoSkyMed Radar scenes. “The 2014 eruption of Kelud volcano, Indonesia: integration of geodetic, petrological and surface change observations”, Ebmeier, Cassidy & Watt (Commercial value: €35,000)
  • Co-PI of Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET) Small grants 2016, “The 2014 eruption of Kelud volcano, Indonesia: integration of geodetic, petrological and surface change observations,” Ebmeier, Cassidy & Watt (Value: £2,650)
  • Co-PI of NERC grant award for 15 radiocarbon dates in 2010 (Value: £7,000)

Listen about our work:

2019: Here I speak to BBC World Service (Science in Action) about the 2018 Anak Krakatau collapse and volcanic activity

2017: Click here to listen to our PhD student Amber and I talk on ‘Science in Action’ on the BBC World Service about our work on volcano experiments and Krakatau volcano. Click here to listen to us on ‘Inside Science’ on BBC Radio 4 also.

More public engagement info here


Google Scholar citations


  • Cassidy, M., Iveson, A., Humphreys, M.C.S., Mather, T.A., Helo, C., Castro, J.M., Ruprecht, P, Pyle, D.M., EIMF  “Experimentally-derived F, Cl and Br fluid/melt partitioning of intermediate to silicic melts in magmatic systems” American Mineralogist (in press)
  • ST Grilli, C Zhang, JT Kirby, AR Grilli, DR Tappin, SFL Watt, JE Hunt, A Novellino, S Engwell, MEM Nurshal, M Abdurrachman, M Cassidy, AL Madden-Nadeau, S Day (2021) “Modeling of the Dec. 22nd 2018 Anak Krakatau volcano lateral collapse and tsunami based on recent field surveys: Comparison with observed tsunami impact” Marine Geology 440
  • JE Hunt, DR Tappin, SFL Watt, S Susilohadi, A Novellino, SK Ebmeier, M Cassidy, SL Engwell, ST Grilli, M Hanif, WS Priyanto, MA Clare, M Abdurrachman, U Udrekh, (2021) “Submarine landslide megablocks show half of Anak Krakatau island failed on December 22nd, 2018” Nature Communications, 12, 1-5
  • Madden-Nadeau, A.L., Cassidy, M., Pyle, D.M., Mather, T.A., Watt, S.F.L., Engwell, S.L., Abdurrachman, M., Nurshal, MNM, Tappin, T., Ismail, T. 2021 ‘The magmatic and eruptive evolution of the 1883 caldera-forming eruption of Krakatau: Integrating field-to crystal-scale observation. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 107176


  • Priyanto, Hunt, Hanif, Tappin, Permana, Cassidy, Yulianto ‘Bathymetry and Shallow Seismic Imaging of the 2018 Flank Collapse of Anak Krakatau’ Frontiers in Earth Science
  • Dobson, Allabar, Bretagne, Coumans, Cassidy, Cimarelli, Coats, Connolley, Courtois, Dingwell, Di Genova, Fernando, Fife, Fyfe, Gehne, Jones, Kendrick, Kinvig, Kolzenburg, Lavallée, Liu, Llewellin, Madden-Nadeau, Madi, Marone, Morgan, Oppenheimer, Ploszajski, Reid, Schauroth, Schlepütz, Sellick, Vasseur, von Aulock, Wadsworth, Wiesmaier, Wanelik ‘Quantifying microstructural evolution in moving magma’ Frontiers in Earth Science
  • Novellino, A., Engwell, S., Grebby, S., Day, S., Cassidy, M., Madden-Nadeau, A., Watt, S., Pyle, D., Abdurrachman, M., Nurshal, Tappin, D.T., Kurniawan, I.A., Hunt, J.A. ‘Mapping Recent Shoreline Changes Spanning the Lateral Collapse of Anak Krakatau Volcano, Indonesia’ Applied Sciences, (2020)


  • Cassidy, M., S. Ebmeier, C, Helo, S.F.L. Watt, C. Caudron, A. Odell, K, Spaans, P. Kristianto, H, Triastuty, H, Gunawan, J.M. Castro. ‘Explosive eruptions with little warning: Experimental petrology and monitoring observations from the 2014 eruption of Kelud, Indonesia’. G Cubed https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GC008161


  • Cassidy, M., Manga, M., Cashman, K., Bachmann, O. ‘Controls on explosive-effusive volcanic eruption styles’. Nature Communications, 9, 2839
  • Hunt, J.E., Cassidy, M., Talling, P.J. ‘Multi-stage volcanic island flank collapses with coeval explosive caldera-forming eruptions’ Scientific Reports 8 (1), 1146


  • Jutzeler, M., M. Manga, J.D.L. White, P.J. Talling, A.A. Proussevitch, S.F.L. Watt, M. Cassidy, R.N. Taylor, A. Le Friant, and O. Ishizuka, ‘Submarine deposits from pumice-rich pyroclastic density currents dispersing over water: an outstanding example from offshore Montserrat (IODP 340)’ GSA Bulletin, B31448 DOI: 10.1130/B31448.1
  • Coussens, M., Cassidy., M, Watt, S.F.L., Jutzeler, M., Talling, P.J., Barfod, D., Gernon, T., Taylor, R.N., Hatter, S.J., Palmer, M.R., Montserrat Volcano Observatory ‘Long-term changes in explosive and effusive behaviour at andesitic arc volcanoes: Chronostratigraphy of the Centre Hills Volcano, Montserrat’ Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (2017)


  • Cassidy, M., Castro, J.C., Helo, C., Troll, V., Deegan, F., Muir, D. Neave, D.A., Meuller, S.P. ‘Volatile dilution during magma injections and implications for volcano explosivity‘ Geology 12. 1027-1030 DOI:10.1130/G38411.1 44 no. [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Jutzeler, M., M. Manga, J.D.L. White, P.J. Talling, A.A. Proussevitch, S.F.L. Watt, M. Cassidy, R.N. Taylor, A. Le Friant, and O. Ishizuka, ‘Submarine deposits from pumice-rich pyroclastic density currents dispersing over water: an outstanding example from offshore Montserrat (IODP 340)’ GSA Bulletin, B31448 DOI: 10.1130/B31448.1 [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Coussens, M., Wall-Palmer, D., Talling, P.J. Watt, S.F.L., Cassidy, M., Jutzeler, M., Gernon, T., Clare, M., Palmer, M.R., Hatter, S., Boudon, G., Endo, D, Fujinawa, A., Hatfield, R., Hornbach, M,, Ishizuka, O., Kataoka, K., Le Friant, A., Maeno, F., Manga, M., McCanta, M., Stinton, A. ‘On the relationship between eruptive activity, flank collapse and sea-level at volcanic islands: a long-term (>1 Ma) record offshore Montserrat, Lesser Antilles’ Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. Doi: 10.1002/2015GC006053
  • Edmonds, M., Kohn, S.C., Hauri, E.C., Humphreys, M.C., Cassidy, M. ‘Extensive, water-rich magma reservoir beneath southern Montserrat’ Lithos 252, 216-233
  • Coussens, M.F., D. Wall-Palmer, P.J. Talling, S.F.L. Watt, S.J. Hatter, M. Cassidy, M. Clare, M. Jutzeler, R. Hatfield, M. McCanta, K.S. Kataoka, D. Endo, M.R. Palmer, A. Stinton,A. Fujinawa, G. Boudon, A. Le Friant, O. Ishizuka, T. Gernon, T. Adachi, M. Aljahdali,C. Breitkreuz, A. J. Frass, M.J. Hornbach, E. Lebas, S. Lafuerza, F. Maeno, M. Manga,M. Martinez-Colon, J. McManus, S. Morgan, T. Saito, A. Slagle, K.S.V. Subramanyam, Y. Tamura, J. Trofimovs, B. Villemant, F. Wang, and the Expedition 340 scientists ‘Synthesis: stratigraphy and age control for IODP Sites U1394, U1395, and U1396 offshore Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles’ Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, Volume 340 doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.340.204.2016
  • Palmer, M.R., Hatter, S.J., Gernon, T.M., Taylor, R.N., Cassidy, M., Johnson, P., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka ‘Discovery of a large 2.4. Ma Plinian eruption of Basse-Taerre, Guadeloupe from the marine sediment record’. Geology [OPEN ACCESS] Doi: 10.1130/G37193.1


  • Cassidy, M., Watt, S.F.L., Talling, P.J., Palmer, M.R., Edmonds M., Jutzeler, M., Wall-Palmer, D., Coussens, M., Gernon, T., Manga, M., Taylor, R.N., Michalik, A., Inglis, E., Breitkreuz, C., Boudon, G., McCanta, M.C., Adachi, T., Hornbach, M.J., Colas, S.L., Endo, D., Fujinawa, A., Kataoka, K.S., Maeno, F., Tamura, Y., Wang, F., Ishizuka, O., Le Friant, A., and Shipboard Science Party ‘ Rapid onset of mafic magmatism facilitated by volcanic edifice collapse’ Geophysical Research Letters doi:10.1002/2015GL064519 [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Cassidy, M., Cole, P.D., Hicks, K.E., Varley, N.R., Peters, N., Lerner, A. ‘Rapid and slow: Varying ascent rates as a mechanism for Vulcanian explosions’ Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 420: 73-84. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.025 [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Cassidy, M., Edmonds, M., Watt, S.F.L., Palmer, M.R., Gernon, T., ‘Arc basalt origin by hybridisation in andesite-dominated arcs’. Journal of Petrology. 56 (2): 325-346. doi: 10.1093/petrology/egv002


  • Cassidy, M., Watt, S.F.L., Palmer, M.R., Trofimovs, J., Symons, W., Maclaren, S., Stinton, A. (2014) ‘Construction of volcanic records from marine sediment cores: A review and case study (Montserrat, West Indies)’. Earth Science Reviews. 138, 137-155 pp DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2014.08.008
  • Wall-Palmer, D., Coussens, M., Talling, P., Jutzeler, M., Cassidy, M., Marchant , I., Palmer M., Watt, S.F.L., Smart, C., Fisher. J., Hart, M., Fraas, A., Trofimovs, J., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Adachi, T., Aljahdali, M., Boudon, G., Breitkreuz, C., Endo, D., Fujinawa, A., Hatfield, R., Kataoka, K., Lafuerza, S, Maneo, M., Martinez-Colon, M., McCanta, M., Morgan, S., Saito, T., Slagle, A., Stinton, A., Konduri, S., Tamura, Y., Villemant, B., Wang, F., ‘Late Pleistocene stratigraphy of IODP Site U1396 and compiled chronology offshore of south and south west Montserrat, Lesser Antilles’. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. DOI:10.1002/2014GC005402
  • Cassidy, M., Trofimovs, J., Watt, S.F.L., Palmer, M.R., Taylor, R.N., Gernon, T.M., Talling, P.J. and Le Friant, A. (2014) ‘Multi-stage collapse events in the South Soufrière Hills, Montserrat, as recorded in marine sediment cores’. In Wadge, G., Robertson, R. E. A. & Voight, B. (eds) The Eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 39, 381–395. http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/M39.20


  • Achterberg, E.P., Moore, M.C., Henson, S.A., Steigenberger, S., Stohl, A., Eckhardt. S., Cassidy, M., Hembury D., Klar, J., Lucas, M.I., Marsay, C.M., Ryan-Keogh, T.J., (2013) Natural iron fertilisation by the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption. Geophysical Research Letters 40, 1–6, doi:10.1002/grl.50221
  • Trofimovs, J., Talling, P.J., Fisher, J.K., Hart, M.B., Sparks, R.S.J., Watt, S.F.L., Cassidy, M., Le Friant, A., Moreton, S.G., Leng, M.J., Smart, C., (2013) ‘Timing, origin, and emplacement dynamics of mass flows offshore SE Montserrat in the last 110 ka: implications for landslide and tsunami hazards,eruption history, and volcanic island evolution.’ Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. doi: 10.1002/ggge.20052
  • Cassidy, M., Trofimovs, J., Palmer, M.R., Talling, P.J., Watt, S.F.L., Moreton, S., Taylor, R.N. (2013) ‘Timing and emplacement dynamics of newly recognised mass flow deposits at ~8-12 ka offshore Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat: how submarine stratigraphy can complement subaerial eruption histories’ Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1-14 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2012.12.002


  • Stevenson, J. A., C. Rae, J. S. Gilbert, S. Harangi, R. Lukács B. Højgaard, U. Árting, S. Pyne-O’Donnell, A. MacLeod, S. Loughlin, A.E. Milodowski and M. Cassidy. (2012) ‘Distal Tephra From the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 Summit Eruption’. J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2011JB008904
  • Cassidy, M., Taylor, R.N., Palmer, M.R, Cooper, R., Stenlake C., Trofimovs, J., (2012) ‘Tracking the magmatic evolution of an island arc volcano: Insights from a high-precision Pb isotope record of Montserrat, Lesser Antilles’. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 13, Q05003 doi:10.1029/2012GC004064
  • Stevenson, J. A., Mitchell, N. C., Cassidy M., Pinkerton H., (2012), ‘Widespread inflation and drainage of a pāhoehoe flow field: the Nesjahraun,Þingvellir, Iceland’. Bulletin of Volcanology. 74 (1), 15-31, DOI: 10.1007/s00445-011-0482-z
  • Stevenson, J. A., Mitchell, N. C., Mochrie, F., Cassidy M., Pinkerton H., (2012), ‘Lava penetrating water: the different behaviours of pāhoehoe and ‘a‘ā at the Nesjahraun, Þingvellir,Iceland’. Bulletin of Volcanology. 74 (1), 33-46, DOI: 10.1007/s00445-011-0480-1

Pre 2012

  • Rouwet, D., S. Bellomo, L. Brusca, S. Inguaggiato, M. Jutzeler, R. Mora, A. Mazot, R. Bernard, M. Cassidy and Y. Taran (2009), ‘Major and trace element geochemistry of El Chichón volcano–hydrothermal system (Chiapas, México) in 2006–2007: implications for future geochemical monitoring’ Geofisica International. 48 (1), 55-72