Volcano experiments at Lancaster University

Mount Etna in Italy.
Mount Etna in Italy.

Students at Lancaster University are cooking lava in a lab in a unique experiment to help them understand volcanos.

Pioneering work sees them recreate the extremely high temperatures within moving lava by studying crystals using a tiny furnace capable of reaching 1500 degrees Celsius. The results will help scientists predict how far lavas will advance on active volcanoes such as Etna in Italy.

Dr Hugh Tuffen, a former PhD student at Lancaster and now a Royal Society University Research Fellow at LEC, said: “As far as I know we are the only team using this powerful technology for this purpose.”

Lancaster University is also the only UK university to offer a Masters degree in volcanology.