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Dr Patrick Smith

Name: Patrick Smith

Position: Post-doctoral Research Fellow on EUROVOLC project

Email: psmith-at-cp.dias.ie



Ph.D, The University of Leeds, (2010). Attenuation of Volcanic Seismic Signals.

M.Res. Physics of the Earth and Atmosphere, The University of Leeds, (2006).

B.Sc. (Hons) Natural Sciences, The University of Durham, (2004).

Research interests

Post-doctoral Research Fellow at DIAS on EUROVOLC project.

My research at DIAS will sit within the EUROVOLC project which aims to harmonise volcanological infrastructure and communities in Europe. The specific task associated with this position is to gain a better understanding of how volcanic tremor can be interpreted and used as a real-time pre-eruptive monitoring tool.

Prior to joining DIAS I worked as a Research Fellow in Volcano-Seismology at the Seismic Research Centre, of the University of the West Indies. I was based full time at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) and was the resident seismologist with a dual role: Firstly in monitoring seismic acitivity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano, maintaining the MVO seismic network, and regularly acting as Duty Scientist at MVO (and occasionally Acting Director) responsible for alerting authorities to increases in volcanic activity. And secondly carrying out research into volcanic seismic phenomena at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat.

My research interests cover a wide range of topics spanning geophysics, seismology and volcanology, but mainly focussed on volcano-seismology. This includes interests in:

  • Low-frequency or long-period (LP) earthquakes: their generation mechanisms and links to magma properties (attenuation) and conduit dynamics and cyclicity during eruptive episodes.
  • Volcanic Tremor
  • Volcano Tectonic (VT) or high-frequency volcanic seismicity, specifically on understanding the recently recognised phenomenon of VT ‘strings’ or spasmodic bursts
  • VLP (Very-long period) seismic signals, and understanding seismic sources.
  • Seismic signals generated by rockfall and pyroclastic flows

I also have research interests in the field of geohazards and risk assessment. Through my time at MVO I was actively involved in many quantitative risk assessments, particular via the formal scientific elicitation process that is carried out at MVO during the annual meetings of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

Selected recent publications

Smith, P.J. (2014). Volcano-Tectonic Seismicity of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat. In M. Beer, E. Patelli, I. Kougioumtzoglou, and I.S.K. Au, editors, Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering, pages 1–14. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-36197-5_93-1.

Articles published

Rodgers, M., Smith, P., Mather, T.A., and Pyle, D.M. (2016). Quiescent-explosive transitions during dome-forming volcanic eruptions: Using seismicity to probe the volcanic processes leading to the 29 July 2008 Vulcanian Explosion of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. ISSN 2169-9356. doi:10.1002/2016JB013180. 2016JB013180.

Constantinescu, R., Robertson, R., Lindsay, J.M., Tonini, R., Sandri, L., Rouwet, D., Smith, P., and Stewart, R. (2016). Application of the probabilistic model BET_UNREST during a volcanic unrest simulation exercise in Dominica, Lesser Antilles. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. ISSN 1525-2027. doi:10.1002/2016GC006485.

Levy, C., Mangeney, A., Bonilla, F., Hibert, C., Calder, E.S., Smith, P.J., and Cole, P.D. (2015). Friction weakening in granular flows deduced from seismic records at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat. J. Geophys. Res. doi:10.1002/2015JB012151.

Christopher, T.E., Blundy, J., Cashman, K., Cole, P., Edmonds, M., Smith, P.J., Sparks, R.S.J., and Stinton, A. (2015a). Crustal-scale degassing due to magma system destabilization and magma-gas decoupling at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. doi:10.1002/2015GC005791.

Zhao, J., Moretti, L., Mangeney, A., Stutzmann, E., Kanamori, H., Capdeville, Y., Calder, E., Hibert, C., Smith, P.J., Cole, P., and Friant, A.L. (2014). Model Space Exploration for Determining Landslide Source History from Long-Period Seismic Data. Pure Appl. Geophys., pages 1–25. ISSN 0033-4553. doi:10.1007/s00024-014-0852-5.

Stinton, A.J., Cole, P.D., Stewart, R.C., Odbert, H.M., and Smith, P. (2014). The 11 February 2010 partial dome collapse at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat. In G. Wadge, R. Robertson, and B. Voight, editors, The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, volume 39, pages 133–152. Geological Society Memoirs, London. doi:10.1144/M39.7.

Lamb, O.D., Varley, N.R., Mather, T.A., Pyle, D.M., Smith, P.J., and Nicholson, E.J. (2014). Multiple timescales of cyclical behaviour observed at two dome-forming eruptions. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 284, 106–121. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.07.013.

Cole, P.D., Smith, P.J., Stinton, A.J., Odbert, H.M., Bernstein, M.L., Komorowski, J.C., and Stewart, R. (2014). Vulcanian Explosions at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat between 2008 and 2010. In G. Wadge, R. Robertson, and B. Voight, editors, The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, volume 39, pages 93–111. Geological Society Memoirs, London. doi:10.1144/M39.5.

Cole, P.D., Smith, P., Komorowski, J.C., Alfano, F., Bonadonna, C., Stinton, A., Christopher, T., Odbert, H.M., and Loughlin, S. (2014b). Ash venting occurring both prior to and during lava extrusion at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 2005 to 2010. In G. Wadge, R. Robertson, and B. Voight, editors, The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, volume 39, pages 71–92. Geological Society Memoirs, London. doi:10.1144/M39.4.