Dr. Eric Breard
(University of Oregon)
Overview of my Research
Designed by E. Breard
By William Rater
I’ve had a passion for volcanology and physics since I was a child. I spent my young education dreaming of studying volcanic eruptions for a living. When the time came, I pursed my undergraduate studies of Geology in France, and focused my master's degree on volcanoes by studying at the "Magmas et Volcans" Lab in Clermont-Ferrand (France) and at the University at Buffalo (USA). During my masters I studied large ignimbrites in Peru and the interaction of pyroclastic density currents with ice in Southern Chile. Afterwards, I delved into the experimental field of research in New Zealand for my PhD, by synthesizing pyroclastic density currents in a novel large-scale facility. For my postdoc, I crossed the world again to work on numerical simulations of multiphase volcanic processes at Georgia Tech (USA) and the University of Oregon. In recent years, I expanded my research to granular mechanics. Learn more about my work by checking out my current projects and past publications.
I use a combination of Eulerian-Eulerian (EE) and Lagrangian-Eulerian (DEM-CFD) simulations to investigate the microphysics of volcanic flows.
The EE simulations were used to validate the physics implemented in an open-source code that is used to simulate volcanic eruptions, while the DEM-CFD code is used to study the rheology of particle-fluid suspensions.
In an effort to gain a better understanding of pyroclastic density current mechanics, I have designed with Pr. Gert Lube and Pr. Jim Jones (Massey University, NZ) a large-scale experimental facility that allows the synthesis of a wide range of pyroclastic density currents after collapse of a heated volcanic mixture onto an inclined and instrumented channel.
We still have only a very limited understanding on how to gain quantitative data from deposits and that is exactly what I have tried to achieve. My work on the field has focused on the study of volcanic flows and ballistic impacts.
Additionally, I have led field trips in NZ and the USA to teach students about past eruptions and the methods associated with field geology/volcanology.