Shreya Kanakiya

B.Sc. Geology & Physics (University of Mumbai), M.Sc. Geology (University of Auckland)

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


My research interests span in the fields of rock physics, geophysics, and volcanology. In particular, I'm interested in understanding how hydrothermal processes affect the integrity of rocks and find ways to characterize the geophysical signatures of these processes for active monitoring.

Research | Current

 Doctoral Research:

  • Geophysical signatures of hydrothermal alteration for evaluating volcanic flank instability 

Catastrophic collapses of the flanks of stratovolcanoes pose a major hazard threatening human life and property. Many such collapses are triggered by hydrothermal alteration processes that can mechanically weaken the volcanic edifice or favour pressure build-up within the subsurface. How these alteration processes manifest themselves as geophysical signals in volcano monitoring systems is, however, not well understood. This project aims to establish a link between measurable petrophysical properties of variably altered rocks and their corresponding elastic, magnetic and electrical geophysical signatures. The broader goal of this project is to provide a calibration and better understanding of geophysical images acquired over stratovolcanoes in New Zealand and around the world.

Master's Research:

  • How do hydrothermal alteration processes affect the rock microstructure? 

An in-depth understanding of how hydrothermal alteration processes alter the host rocks is vital for monitoring field-scale CO2 sequestration projects and understanding the broader role of such processes in volcanic settings. By performing systematic laboratory experiments this project aims to understand how hydrothermal reaction between ferromagnesian rich rocks like basalts and CO2-rich fluid affect the rock microstructure.  

Involvement in other ongoing projects:

  • The physical properties of Alpine Fault cataclasites that drive its elastic wave velocities

The Alpine Fault in New Zealand is late in its cycle of stress accumulation and thus provides an exciting opportunity to understand the conditions in the subsurface ahead of a large earthquake. This project aims at characterizing the physical properties of rocks from the Alpine Fault that may control the mechanisms of its rupture and propagation.

  • Understanding the pyroclastic phases of the eruption of Rangitoto volcano

Rangitoto volcano is the youngest and largest eruptive center in the Auckland Volcanic Field. This project aims to characterize the different eruption products and understand the pyroclastic phases of its eruption.

Teaching | Current

Graduate Teaching Assistant:

  • EARTHSCI 102: Foundation for Earth Sciences​ (Semester Two - 2019)

Teaching Assistant: 

  • GEOPHYS 361 & EARTHSCI 361: Exploration Geophysics (Semester One -  2015, 2016, and 2019).
  • EARTHSCI 305: Earth Deformation (Semester Two - 2015). 

Postgraduate supervision

Doctoral Supervisors: Dr. Ludmila Adam, Dr. Michael C. Rowe, and Associate Professor Jan Lindsay

Master's Supervisors: Dr. Ludmila Adam and Dr. Michael C. Rowe


Merit Awards and Scholarships:

  • Academic Career Exploration Award, University of Auckland, 2020.
  • Jim Ansell Geophysics Scholarship, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, 2018.
  • Postgraduate Student Research Award, School of Environment-University of Auckland, 2018.
  • Ph.D. Scholarship, University of Auckland-Earthquake Commission Capability Building Fund, 2018-2021.
  • Runner-Up Team, UN Youth Auckland Case Competition – From recovery after natural disasters to sustainable development, 2015.
  • Academic Merit Award, Physics Society, Jai Hind College, 2014.

Research Grants:

  • Hutton Fund Award, Royal Society of New Zealand, 2019.
  • R N Brothers Memorial AwardUniversity of Auckland, 2019.

Travel Grants:

  • Fall Meeting General Student Travel Grant, American Geophysical Union, 2019.
  • Young Researcher Travel Grant, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, 2019.
  • Student Travel Grant, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, 2019.
  • Student Leadership Symposium Travel Grant, Society of Exploration Geophysicists and Chevron, 2019.
  • Student Travel Grant, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, 2018.
  • Student Travel Grant, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, 2015.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Committees (Current):

Professional groups (Current):

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geoscience Society of New Zealand
  • International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior
  • International Association of Rock Physicists
  • Seismological Society of America
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Kanakiya, S., Adam, L., Esteban, L., Rowe, M., & Shane, P. (2017). Dissolution and secondary mineral precipitation in basalts due to reactions with carbonic acid. Journal of Geophysical Research, 122 (6), 4312-4327. 10.1002/2017JB014019
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ludmila Adam, Michael Rowe, Phil Shane
  • Kanakiya, S. (2016). An experimental study to characterize changes in physical properties of basalts and basanites during reaction with carbonic acid The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.


Contact details

Alternative contact

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 7, Room 723
New Zealand

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