Hélène Le Mével studies volcanoes. Her research focuses on understanding the surface signals that ground deformations make to infer the ongoing process of the moving magma  in the underlying reservoir. Toward this end she uses space and field-based geodesy--the mathematics of the area and shape of the Earth--to identify, model and interpret this ground deformation.

She uses data from radar called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), and data from the Global Positioning System (GPS) to characterize ground motion during volcanic unrest. She also collects gravity data, which indicate changes in mass and/or density underground. These data sets, combined with the surface deformation data are used to interpret the volume/pressure changes  of magma dynamics. 

She is currently developing numerical models to investigate the magmatic processes responsible for the deformation both on the decadal (“geodetic”) timescale and the geological timescale of thousands of years. These multiphysics models will  allow her to consider the evolving physical processes occurring in the magma chamber  in the framework of the complete volcanic cycle. She plans to apply these models to a variety of volcanic systems and tectonic settings.

Le Mével earned a B.S. in  Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Université de Nantes in 2009. She was granted an M.S. in Geophysics at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in 2011 and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016.

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