School of Earth and Environmental Sciences


Marco Fazio

  • Role Title: PhD Researcher
  • Address: Burnaby Building Burnaby Road Portsmouth
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2257
  • Email:
  • Department: SEES
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


Whatever concerns volcanoes catches my interests. In particular, my research aims to improve eruption forecasting through improved analysis of the various precursory seismic signals. My interest in volcanology reaches back to 2008, from my experience in Vulcano, Aeolian Islands (Italy), and has continued ever since, via numerous academic, and non academic, courses (see below).

As a geologist, I enjoy working in team, especially in the field, as well as visiting other centers of academic excellence:  this is way I visited three continents, starting from my country, Italy, through Egypt in Africa and Mexico in Central America. I also spent five months at ETH as an Erasmus student working in the institute of Geochemistry and Petrology.


  • 2013 - present: PhD at University of Portsmouth.
  • October 2011 – December 2011: Internship at INGV (Geophysics and Volcanology National Institute) Catania in order to measure Radon and CO2 emission on the lower flank of Mt. Etna.
  • September 2011: International School of Volcanology in Salina (Italy), "Mid to low intensity explosive activity at silicic volcanoes. Examples from the Aeolian Islands (southern Italy)
  • 2008 - 2011: Master’s Degree in Geological Sciences and Technologies at University of Milano-Bicocca. Title: Tectonic and volcano-tectonic structures of the Volcán de Colima area (Mexico) based on morphostructural analysis and radon emission. Graduating mark 106/110
  • August 2009 – January 2010: Erasmus programme at ETH of Zurich (Swiss)
  • September 2008: School of Volcanology in Bolsena (Italy)
  • August 2008: one-week guide in the information center of Vulcano (Italy) in collaboration with INGV
  • 2005 – 2008: Bachelor’s Degree in Geological Sciences and Technologies at University of Milano-Bicocca. Title: Reconstruction of the structural arrangement of the central Cuillins conesheets system (sections


    Volcano seismicity and fluid-rock coupling: Laboratory simulations of fluid-induced seismicity and implications for eruption forecasting.

    SUPERVISORS: Dr. Philip Benson (Portsmouth), Dr. Sergio Vinciguerra (Leicester), and Prof. Philip Meredith (UCL, U.K.)

    Seismicity and ground deformation are the short-term precursory phenomena most frequently detected before a volcanic eruption, occurring as the Earth's crust is distorted by magma pushing its way to the surface, and as fluids (magma, volcanic gas and/or hydrothermal fluids) move within faulted rock. The final approach to eruption is commonly preceded by accelerating occurrence rates of both high-frequency volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes and low-frequency (LF) events. These characteristic seismic signals are unique to volcanoes and associated with fluid movement. Whilst great progress has been made in understanding short term VT signals, the precise details of the mechanisms involved in generating LF earthquakes, and the VT-LF transition, remain poorly understood. In this research project, I will reproduce volcano-tectonic conditions using a high-pressure rock deformation apparatus, equipped with an internal furnace, to impose a well-controlled stress regime on samples of volcanic rock. I will also use state-of-the-art instrumentation to record and analyse the micro-earthquakes generated by fracturing in the samples and by subsequent fluid flow through the fracture network. These signals are analogous to the VT and LF events observed at much larger scale on volcanic edifices. By applying these methods to well-constrained laboratory simulations at typical volcano pressures and temperatures, I will enhance our fundamental understanding of volcano-tectonics from the perspective of solid-fluid coupling. A key project output will be an improved understanding of how the coupling between rock type, fluid type and fluid phase controls failure and, hence, the predictive ability of failure (eruption) forecast models. The laboratory data will be critically compared with published field and theoretical studies in order to validate and test new methods for assessing both short-term and long-term precursors to volcanic eruptions.