Analogue modelling of morpho-structural processes in active volcano-tectonic regions

Project Details


This project aims at establishing an Earth science analogue laboratory at the VUB to investigate volcano-tectonic and geomorphologic processes. Specifically, experimental devices will be developed to investigate processes controlling volcano morphologies in the East African Rift, including: 1) the role of tectonic stresses and fault movements on volcano shape and instability, 2) the effect of volcano load and magma chambers on the distribution of eruptive centres and on the local tectonic architecture and 3) gravitation- and water-induced degradation of volcano morphologies. Understanding these processes will enable to decipher complex volcano morphologies in term of short and long-term growth, erosion and deformation, and to put constraints on the type and distribution of expected hazards at poorly studied volcanoes. Well-controlled experimental setups will enable simulations of tectonic forcings, magma intrusions, gravitational stresses and rain-induced erosion. Model deformations will be quantified using a projection moiré method and imaged with high resolution techniques. Experimental results will be used to explain volcano-tectonic structures and flank instabilities documented in the Tanzanian sector of the East African Rift using DEMs. A targeted fieldwork will be conducted on Oldoinyo Lengai volcano as a case study to document short term erosion after the recent eruptions and to document volcano-tectonic processes leading to flank instabilities.
Effective start/end date1/01/1231/12/12


  • Geographics

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Earth sciences
  • Environmental sciences
  • Mathematical sciences and statistics
  • Social and economic geography
  • Pedagogical and educational sciences
  • Civil and building engineering


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