April-May 2015: A successful field season!

The dust has settled, and Katie, Katy, Rich and Charlotte are now all safely back in the UK and getting back into ‘normality’ following a very successful field campaign in April/May, which saw Katie and Katy spend more than a month on the island carrying out detailed volcanological field work and collecting the final few samples for dating and chemical analysis.

The main aims of our field work this season were:

  • To correlate eruptions identified in different parts of the island, across the whole island
  • To develop an eruptive stratigraphy for all the explosive eruptions on the island, so that we know how each eruption relates in time relative to others
  • To describe in detail, sample and trace out any zoned eruptive units
  • To sample olivine-rich lavas for geochemical analysis from multiple localities

Aside from undertaking our fieldwork we were also able to hold a public meeting at the Saints Club to share some our understanding of the volcanic history of Ascension and to describe our research, thanks to all who attended. Meetings with decision makers on island were also an important outcome of this visit, so that we can understand how our data will be most useful to the community. As well as the more formal meetings,

Katie and Katy also very much enjoyed taking the cubs out for a small field trip one evening!

Thank you to everyone on the island who made our time on Ascension so successful and enjoyable. We hope to be able to come back and deliver the results of our research next year at the conclusion to this project.


Fissure on the North East coast – the vent for the zoned fall deposits


Compositionally zoned fall at Upper Valley Crater


Looking down on one of the youngest lava flows from Sisters Peak

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