Dr Clive Oppenheimer

Reader in Volcanology & Remote Sensing

Department of Geography
Downing Place
Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK
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Research Expertise


Clive Oppenheimer’s research focuses on development and application of volcano surveillance techniques. He works closely with several volcano observatories worldwide, and is involved in installation of gas sensors for routine volcano monitoring and hazard assessment. His research interests include measurement and interpretation of volcanic gas and heat emissions, the environmental and human impacts of prehistoric eruptions, and the atmospheric chemistry and health risks of volcanic pollution.

He coordinates the Cambridge Volcanology Group and works locally with Vitchko Tsanev, Marie Boichu, Adam Durant, Giuseppe Salerno, Letizia Spampinato, Jenn Le Blond, Jane Ilyinskaya, Talfan Barnie, Amy Donovan, Emma Gatti, Vickie Irish, Marie Edmonds, Rod Jones and Peter Baxter, among others. The group carries out a wide range of collaborative volcanological research, and has been involved in several rapid response measurement campaigns during volcanic crises.


Relevant Publications


Stewart, C., Horwell C.J., Plumlee, G., Cronin, S., Delmelle, P., Baxter, P., Calkins, J., Damby, D.E., Morman, S. & Oppenheimer, C. (2013) ‘Protocol for analysis of volcanic ash samples for assessment of hazards from leachable elements’. Available at: www.ivhhn.org/

Allibone, R., Cronin, S.J., Charley, D.T., Neall, V.E., Stewart, R.B., & Oppenheimer, C. (2012) ‘Dental fluorosis linked to degassing of Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu: a novel exposure pathway’, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 34, 155-170.

Martin, R. S., Mather, T. A., Pyle, D. M., Power, M., Tsanev, V. I., Oppenheimer, C., Allen, A. G., Horwell, C. J. & Ward, E.P.W. (2009) 'Size distributions of fine silicate and other particles in Masaya's volcanic plume', Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 114, D9.

Oppenheimer, C. & Pyle, D. M. (2009) “Volcanoes”, in J. C. Woodward (ed.), The Physical Geography of the Mediterranean. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 435–468.

Le Blond, J.S., Williamson, B.J., Horwell, C.J., Monro, A.K., Kirk, C.A. and Oppenheimer, C. (2008) ‘Production of potentially hazardous respirable silica airborne particulate from the burning of sugarcane.’, Atmospheric Environment, 44, 5558-5568.

Toyos, G., Dorta, D.O., Oppenheimer, C., Pareschi, M.T., Sulpizio, R. & Zanchetta, G. (2007) ‘GIS-assisted modelling for debris flow hazard assessment based on the events of May 1998 in the area of Sarno, Southern Italy: Part I. Maximum run-out’, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 32, 1491-1502.

Allen, A. G., Mather, T. A., McGonigle, A. J. S., Aiuppa, A., Delmelle, P., Davison, B., Bobrowski, N., Oppenheimer, C., Pyle, D. M. & Inguaggiato, S. (2006) 'Sources, size distribution, and downwind grounding of aerosols from Mount Etna'Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 111(D10).

Hansell, A.L., Horwell, C.J. and Oppenheimer, C. (2006) ‘The health hazards of volcanoes and geothermal areas’, Occupational Environmental Medicine, 63: 149-156.

Witham, C.S., Oppenheimer, C. and Horwell, C.J. (2005) ‘Volcanic ash leachates: a review and recommendations for sampling methods’, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 141: 299-326.

Hansell, A. Horwell, C.J. and Oppenheimer, C. (2005) ‘Health hazards from volcanoes’, Commissioned for Occupational and Environmental Medicine Journal's Continuing Professional Development Series, 59, 628-39.

Witham, C. S., & Oppenheimer, C. (2004) ‘Mortality in England during the 1783–4 Laki Craters eruption’, Bulletin of Volcanology, 67(1), 15-26.

Hansell, A.L. & Oppenheimer, C. (2004) ‘Health hazards from volcanic gases – a systematic literature review’, Archives of Environmental Health, 59, 628-639.

Mather, T. A., Allen, A. G., Oppenheimer, C., Pyle, D.M., & McGonigle, A.J.S. (2003) 'Size resolved particle compositions of the tropospheric plume of Masaya volcano, Nicaragua', Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, 46(3), 207-237. 

Allen, A. G., Oppenheimer, C., Ferm, M., Baxter, P. J., Horrocks, L. A., Galle, B., McGonigle, A. J. S. & Duffell, H. J. (2002) 'Primary sulfate aerosol and associated emissions from Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua'Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 107(D23), 8. 

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Latest News


Download our pamphlets on preparing for ashfall and on the health hazards of ash. They are designed for mass distribution at the onset of new eruptions. They are now avaiable in English, Japanese, French Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili, Indonesian and Icelandic with Italian versions being available shortly. Please see our Pamphlets page for further infomation.





IVHHN has an article under the Guidelines tab which used to be called 'Recommended Face Masks'. This has now been updated to 'Information on face masks' and is an interim page whilst the Health Interventions in Volcanic Eruptions project investigates which types of respiratory protection are effective in protecting the general population from volcanic ash inhalation. Please note that the translations in Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese have not yet been updated.



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