Explosive volcanism is a continual process in the Earth System whereby significant mass and energy fluxes are violently carried from the shallow lithosphere into our atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Understanding the fundamental physics of these processes is necessary in order to grasp their potential impacts on the Earth System. The most volumetrically significant product of these processes - volcanic ash - likely represents a key physics-chemical agent in the Earth System and in Earth History. This is due to its potentially vast contribution to surface-hosted reaction kinetics and fluxes in both the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. We investigate explosive volcanism with the aid of experimental volcanology. Several results of these studies will be highlighted with an eye towards implications for the Earth System as a whole.
Born in 1958 in Corner Brook, Nfld., Canada, Donald Dingwell received his B.Sc. (1980) in Geology/Geophysics from the Memorial University of Newfoundland and his Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Alberta (1984). Next followed two years as a Carnegie Research Fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and one on the Faculty of the University of Toronto. In 1987 he was recruited to Germany as assistant to the director of a newly-founded research institute in Bayreuth. There he obtained his Venia Legendi in Geochemistry in 1992. In 2000 he was called to the Chair in Mineralogy and Petrology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. There he founded the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of which he is currently Director.
Dingwell's principal research interest is the physico-chemical description of molten rocks and their impact on volcanic systems. He has contributed largely to the development of the new and expanding field of experimental volcanology. He has published ca. 430 papers whose impact is reflected in ca. 15,000 (ISI) to 20,000 (google scholar) citations and an h-factor of 62 (ISI) to 72 (google scholar).