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Dr. Eric Breard

(University of Edinburgh)

Overview of my Research


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By William Rater

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About me

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 and the University of Oregon (USA). In recent years, I expanded my research to study volcanic plumes and jets, turbidity currents, granular flows and suspensions. I am now a NERC Independent Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (UK) working on turbulent and granular flows in volcanic settings. Learn more about my work by checking out my current projects, publications and videos of my work on my Youtube channel. 

Feel free to e-mail me if you are interested in working with me.

My Research

Volcanic processes

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@2023 by Eric Breard

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Numerical simulations

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.

Experimental studies

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 called "PELE" 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.  

Field work

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.

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