Alexander Mattin


Phone: 0212 751 303
Office: CO524


BSc University of Leeds (2021); MSc Royal Holloway, University of London (2022)
PhD Candidate in Palaeoclimatology and Volcanism

PhD thesis


Climatic and biogeochemical impacts of the ~25.5ka Ōruanui supereruption (New Zealand)


Project objectives and description

The key issue I am interested in studying is the impacts of volcanic supereruptions on Earth’s climate and biogeochemical systems. Using evidence from past eruptions, we can now look at volcanic impacts over short (years), medium (decades) and long (centuries or more) time intervals, following some of the largest eruptions known in the geological record.

My research will encompass the investigation of palaeoclimatic and biogeochemical change following the ~25.5ka Ōruanui supereruption (New Zealand), which is among the largest Quaternary volcanic events known on Earth.

Volcanic eruptions can drive abrupt climate change on a global scale through the release of large volumes of ash, aerosols and gases which diminish the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. However, it is not currently known if the largest volcanic eruptions have the most severe and long-lasting impacts. I will address this specific issue through investigating ice core proxies across volcanic horizons in a series of Antarctic ice core records. The presence of glass shards within ice cores will provide a geochemical fingerprint of the supereruption and a time marker to examine the surrounding ice core record for climatic and environmental proxies. These proxies will allow investigation of the Southern Ocean’s biogeochemical response to enhanced nutrient deposition as a result of supereruption-derived ash blankets.