Professor Shane Jason Cronin

BSc(Hons) Ist Class in Soil Science, PhD in Earth Science (Massey University)

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Alexander von Humboldt Fellow 2001-02 

Professor of Earth Science at Massey University (Director of Volcanic Risk Solutions Research Centre) up to 2015

Director of the Resilience to Nature's Challenges, National Science Challenge (GNS Science host) since 2015.

Research | Current

Current research projects include:

Volcano-tectonic interactions and instability

Understanding Auckland volcanism

Large-scale explosive volcanism at andesite volcanoes, Mts Taranaki, Tongariro and Ruapehu

Volcanism and volcanic hazards of monogenetic fields, Harrats Rahat and Khayber, Republic of Saudi Arabia

Volcanic geology, geochemistry and hazards of the Vanuatu Archipelago (see BBC2 Films - Kate Humble: Into the Volcano)

Volcanic Mass flows, especially pyroclastic flows and lahars, including in situ experimental studies (Indonesia, NZ and Mexico) and geological/sedimentological studies

Volcanic eruption/event magnitude frequency research in NZ and Indonesia

Probabilistic eruption/event forecasting

Environmental/Agricultural/Health impacts of volcanic eruptions


*****New PhD opportunities available in:

Tuhua (Mayor Island) physical volcanology

Steady state volcanism of Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu

Micro-geochemical insights into magma recharge and eruption triggering at Mt. Taranaki

Teaching | Current

I contribute to the residential field courses of Earth 201 and 301.

I also teach part of Introductory Earth Sciences, Earth 103, as well as a the Ore Geology and part of the Volcanic module of Earth 306, and volcanology Earth 705,

This year I will also be teaching Rivers and Mountain geomorphology in Earth 101

Postgraduate supervision

Completed PhD students as Chief Supervisor:

Dr Thomas Platz - Dome-Forming eruptions of Mt. Taranaki (2007)

Dr Michael Turner - Mt. Taranaki eruption cycles (2008)

Dr Anke Zernack - Growth-collapse cycles at stratovolcanoes (2009)

Dr Jonathan Procter - Computational Mass flow hazard modelling on stratovolanoes (2010)

Dr Suzy Cole - Seismic insights into lahars in motion (2011)

Dr Anja Moebis - High-frequency, low-magnitude eruptions of Mt. Tongariro (2012)

Dr Natalia Pardo - Largest-Scale Explosive Volcanism of Mt Ruapehu (2013)

Dr Marco Brenna - Petrology and Volcanism of Jeju, Korea (2013)

Dr Manuela Tost - Long-term growth and destruction records of Mt Ruapehu (2015)

Dr Javier Augstin-Flores - Styles of phreatomagmatic volcanism in Auckland (2016)

Dr Magret Damaschke - High-resolution eruption records from Mt Taranaki tephras (2017)

Dr Martha Gabriela Gomez - Volcano-tectonic interactions in the Tongariro Volcanic Centre (2017)


Completed PhD students as co-supervisor:

Dr Gert Lube - Pyroclastic flow, from the laboratory to the field (2005)

Dr John Caulfield - Tongan volcanism, petrology and geochemistry (2012)

Dr Tom Wilson - Volcanic impacts on Agriculture (2012)

Dr Debra Ellis - Emergency management in the NZ health sector (2013)

Dr Gabor Kereszturi - Intraplate volcanism and the Auckland Volcanic Field (2014)

Dr Rebecca Green - Statistical methods for volcanic hazard estimation (2015)

Dr Melody Runge - Probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment in volcanic fields (2015)

Dr Hugo Murcia - Mafic volcanism in the Harrat Rahat monogenetic field (2015)

Dr Emily Kawabata - Numerical approaches to modelling tephra fall dispersals and correlations (2016)

Dr Chris Firth - Geochemical insights into steady state volcanism in Vanuatu (2016)

Dr Eric Breard - Large-scale pyroclastic flow experiments (2016)

Dr Heather Craig - Agricultural impacts of volcanism in Patagonia (2016)

Dr James Cowlyn - Pyroclastic Density Current processes and hazards on Mt. Ruapehu (2016)

Dr Adam Neather - Experimental studies of lahar flow (2017)


Current PhD Students at University of Auckland:

Geoffrey Lerner - Paleomagnetic investigations into recent volcanism at Mt. Taranaki, NZ (with Dr Gillian Turner)

Ben Simons - Multicomponent investigations of continuous volcanism at Yasur, Vanuatu (with Dr Jenifer Eccles)

Jie Wu - Pre-conditioning of large scale caldera eruptions, Jemez Mts, USA (with Dr Michael Rowe)

Mirja Heinrich - Physical properties of the largest explosive eruptions of Mt. Tongariro, NZ (with AP Phil Shane)

Emily Limage - Environmental health impacts of degassing volcanoes in Vanuatu (with Prof Joel Baker)

Arishma Ram - Landslide hazard assessments in Fiji (with Dr Martin Brook)

Seethal Sivarajan - Impacts of tephra falls on NZ pastoral systems (with AP Jan Lindsay)

Alisha Coote - Magmatic driving processes in the Bay of Islands Volcanic Field, NZ (Chief, AP Phil Shane)

Mai Sas - Insights into Magma systems via high-resolution isotope studies (Chief, AP Phil Shane)


Other PhD students underway:

Massey University: Rafael Torres, Maricar Arpa, Bradon Walsh, Szabolcs Kosik

Macquarie University (Sydney): Louise Goode


Completed Masters students (last two years only)

Matt Irwin - Hyperspectral imagery and insights into volcano instability on Mt. Tongariro (Massey U)

David Rhode - Lava flow viscosity and modelling parameters for the Auckland Volcanic Field


Other current PG students at University of Auckland

Edgar Zorn - MSc - growth dynamics and strength properties of the Mt. Taranaki summit lava dome

Caitln Slabbert - MSc - magmatic eruption processes of Auckland Volcanic Field

Shannel Mills - BSc(hons) - Physical processes of the largest 1995-1996 Ruapehu eruptions


Science Leader FRST/MBIE: 

"Living with Volcanic Risk in New Zealand" Reseach Programme 2004-2015  ~$7.5M and

"Jeju (Korea) - Auckland (NZ) Sister Volcanic Hazard Programme" ~$0.9M


Marsden Fund principal and co-principal investigator on three occasions:

"Capturing the Secrets of a Life-Sized Lahar" (2005-08), 

"Exploding the myths of Pyroclastic flows with life-scaled experiments" (2009-12),

"Extreme mobility of Pyroclastic flows - is it all just hot air?" (2015-2018)


Establishment Director for National Science Challenge #10: Resilience to Nature's Challenges (2014-to present)

Areas of expertise

Physical Volcanology; Volcanic Hazard and Risk; Geology; Geomorphology; Disaster Management 

Committees/Professional groups/Services

PBRF Physical Sciences Panel Member: 2006-12 and 2013-2017 

Currently Chair of School of Environment Asset Committee and member of SoE Executive Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Stewart, C., Damby, D. E., Tomašek I, Horwell, C. J., Plumlee, G. S., Armienta, M. A., ... Cronin, S. (2020). Assessment of leachable elements in volcanic ashfall: a review and evaluation of a standardized protocol for ash hazard characterization. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 392.10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.106756
  • Brenna, M., Pontesilli, A., Mollo, S., Masotta, M., Cronin, S. J., Smith, I. E. M., ... Scarlato, P. (2019). Intra-eruptive trachyte-phonolite transition: Natural evidence and experimental constraints on the role of crystal mushes. AMERICAN MINERALOGIST, 104 (12), 1750-1764. 10.2138/am-2019-6963
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ian Smith
  • Lerner, G. A., Cronin, S. J., Bebbington, M. S., & Platz, T. (2019). The characteristics of a multi-episode volcanic regime: the post-AD 960 Maero Eruptive Period of Mt. Taranaki (New Zealand). BULLETIN OF VOLCANOLOGY, 81 (11)10.1007/s00445-019-1327-4
  • Lerner, G. A., Cronin, S. J., Turner, G. M., & Piispa, E. J. (2019). Recognizing long-runout pyroclastic flow deposits using paleomagnetism of ash. GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA BULLETIN, 131 (11-12), 1783-1793. 10.1130/B35029.1
  • Colombier, M., Mueller, S. B., Kueppers, U., Scheu, B., Delmelle, P., Cimarelli, C., ... Dingwell, D. B. (2019). Diversity of soluble salt concentrations on volcanic ash aggregates from a variety of eruption types and deposits. BULLETIN OF VOLCANOLOGY, 81 (7)10.1007/s00445-019-1302-0
  • Ram, A. R., Brook, M. S., & Cronin, S. J. (2019). Engineering geomorphological investigation of the Kasavu landslide, Viti Levu, Fiji. LANDSLIDES, 16 (7), 1341-1351. 10.1007/s10346-019-01191-x
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Martin Brook
  • Lube, G., Breard, E. C. P., Jones, J., Fullard, L., Dufek, J., Cronin, S., & Wang, T. (2019). Generation of air lubrication within pyroclastic density currents. NATURE GEOSCIENCE, 12 (5), 381-+. 10.1038/s41561-019-0338-2
  • Lerner, G. A., Cronin, S. J., Turner, G. M., & Rowe, M. C. (2019). Paleomagnetic determination of the age and properties of the 1780-1800AD dome effusion/collapse episode of Mt. Taranaki, New Zealand. BULLETIN OF VOLCANOLOGY, 81 (3)10.1007/s00445-019-1275-z
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Michael Rowe


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 4, Room 417
New Zealand

Web links