Edward McGowan, Postgraduate Researcher

Eruption source vents and subsidence patterns in exhumed caldera volcanoes, English Lake District

Contact Details

Research Theme

Solid Earth

Project Overview

Caldera-forming volcanic eruptions are some of the most catastrophic natural events to occur on Earth. However, research on modern calderas is often hindered by critical features such as caldera faults, vents and caldera fill deposits being concealed post-collapse. The nested calderas of the Borrowdale Volcanic Group in the English Lake District offer a unique insight into these complex systems. Thanks to tectonic uplift and glacial dissection, many of the key features buried at modern calderas have become accessible. Through a combined use of fieldwork and geochemical analysis, I shall investigate the relationship between the different local calderas and clarify the connection between the large eruptions and subsidence structures and their vent systems.

Research Questions

  • Is Haweswater caldera the eastern extension of Scafell caldera, or a separate caldera system?
  • How do vent systems migrate during individual piecemeal caldera-collapses and interact between other local calderas?
  • How does the geochemistry with a nested caldera complex evolve over time with subsequent caldera-forming eruptions?

Additional Research

Investigating the portrayal of volcanoes within Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) video games to understand how scientifically accurate such features are represented. From this, we hope to determine and develop ways to use commercial video games as a form of geoscience communication and education for the public.


  • E. G. McGowan & J. P. Scarlett: Volcanoes in video games: the portrayal of volcanoes in Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) video games and their learning potential: Geoscience Communication, v.4 (1), p. 11-31, 2021. DOI: 10.5194/gc-4-11-2021 – Highlighted Article.

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