Richard Herd


  • 1.36 Sciences

Personal profile


I developed an interest in volcanology during a Geology BSc at the University of St Andrews. During my PhD at Lancaster University, I worked on the eruptions from the Long Valley caldera (California) and peculiar rift magmas from Pantelleria (S. Italy). I followed this with a post-doctoral appointment at Lancaster University making field measurements of the viscosity of active basaltic lava flows in Hawai`i.  I then worked for ten years at the volcano observatories on Montserrat and Hawai`i on all manner of volcanic problems. My main efforts have been in ground deformation measurements, topographic measurements of an active lava dome and developing methods for the remote measurement of sulphur dioxide flux from volcanoes.

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences. However, feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Key Research Interests

Growth, emplacement and collapse of lava flows and domes; magma degassing and explosive volcanism; monitoring of active volcanoes. 

Significant Publications

  • Edmonds, M. and Herd, R.A. (in press) A volcanic degassing event at the explosive-effusive transition.Geophysical Research Letters
  • Edmonds, M., Herd, R.A. and Strutt, M.H. (2006) Tephra deposited on Montserrat during the 12–15 July 2003 dome collapse and explosions at Soufrière Hills Volcano. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 153, 313–330.doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2005.12.008
  • Wadge, G., Mattioli, G.S. and Herd, R.A. (2006) Ground deformation at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat during 1998–2000 measured by radar interferometry and GPS. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 152, 157–173. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2005.11.007
  • Herd, R.A., Edmonds, M. and Bass, V.B. (2005) Catastrophic lava dome failure at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, 12–13 July 2003. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 148, 234–252.doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2005.05.003
  • Edmonds, M. and Herd, R.A. (2005) Inland-directed base surge generated by the explosive interaction of pyroclastic flows and seawater at Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat. Geology 33(4), 245-248. DOI: 10.1130/G21166.1
  • Edmonds, M., Herd, R.A., Galle, B. and Oppenheimer C. (2003) Automated, high time-resolution measurements of SO2 flux at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat. Bulletin of Volcanology 65(8), 576-586.DOI: 10.1007/s00445-003-0286-x

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Key Responsibilities

  • Director of Admissions

Areas of Expertise

Volcanoes; lava; explosive eruptions; volcanic gas; Montserrat; Hawaii.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or