Colin Wilson

Prof Colin Wilson profile picture

Professor School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Teaching in 2020

Research Interests

My research centres around understanding the processes involved in explosive volcanic activity. This work covers a large range of topics concerned with the generation and storage of magmas (molten rock), together with the ways in which volcanoes erupt explosively, with particular emphasis on the large-scale examples labelled as ‘Super-eruptions’.

I also have interests in the history of the Taupo Volcanic Zone in the central North Island and its evolution as a magmatically active rift. This research involves numerous students, together with NZ and overseas collaborators.

Current topics include:

  • The physical volcanology of super-eruptions in New Zealand and the western United States
  • Timings and mechanisms of magma generation and storage in New Zealand and western USA supervolcanoes
  • Magma generation and eruption processes in subaerial and submarine explosive volcanism in the Kermadec arc
  • The 4-D evolution of the central Taupo Volcanic Zone using U-Pb dating techniques on zircons from deeply buried geothermally altered rocks to establish eruption and subsidence histories
  • Volcanic and structural evolution of the Wairakei and Ngakamariki geothermal fields, Paeroa Range and Whakatane Graben
  • History of Early Cretaceous large-scale volcanic and plutonic activity in Hong Kong.


  • PhD in Geology - Imperial College, London (1981)
  • Diploma of Imperial College - Imperial College, London (1981)
  • BSc with Honours in Geology - Imperial College, London (1977)
  • Associateship of the Royal School of Mines - Imperial College, London (1977)


Publications 1980 - Now

Published Conference Abstracts1980 - Now


Teaching in 2020