Dr Pierre Delmelle

Lecturer in Earth Science


Environment Department
University of York,
YO10 5DD, UK.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Research Expertise


Pierre Delmelle's research interest lies in the environmental effects of volcanic emissions. Pierre uses a combination of field and lab measurements to better understand how volcanic gas and ash materials react once released into the environment. He applies surface science methodologies and techniques to examine the factors which govern the surface reactivity of volcanic ash. He also studies the geochemistry and fate of volcanogenic fluoride in different environmental media (air, ash, water, soil and vegetation). In addition, Pierre leads a research aimed at improving the monitoring and assessment of exposure to volcanogenic fluoride. With Julie Calkins (PhD Student) and colleagues from the Institute of Food Research, he is developing a protocol for evaluating the bioaccessibility of volcanogenic fluoride in ash, soil and food.


Pierre also works on the characterisation of volcanic ash leachates, the measurement of trace metals in volcanic aerosols, the transport and retention of volcanic fluoride in soils and the impact of volcanic acid and ash deposition on soil properties and functioning. Recently, he has been involved in the development of quantitative tools for informing the decision-making process in volcanic hazard management.

Relevant Publications

Damby, D. E., Horwell, C. J., Baxter, P. J., Delmelle, P., Donaldson, K., Dunster, C., Fubini, B., Murphy, F.A., Nattrass, C., Sweeney, S., Tetley, T.D., & Tomatis, M. (2013) ‘The respiratory health hazard of tephra from the 2010 Centennial eruption of Merapi with implications for occupational mining of deposits’, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 261, 376-387. 

Horwell, C. J., Baxter, P. J., Hillman, S. E., Calkins, J. A., Damby, D. E., Delmelle, P., Donaldson, K., Dunster, C., Kelly, F.J., Le Bond, J.S., Livi, K.J., Murphy, F., Nattrass, C., Sweeney, S., Tetley, T.D., Thordarson, T., & Tomatis, M. (2013) ‘Physicochemical and toxicological profiling of ash from the 2010 and 2011 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and Grímsvötn volcanoes, Iceland using a rapid respiratory hazard assessment protocol’, Environmental Research, 127, 63-73.

Le Blond, J. S., Horwell, C. J., Baxter, P. J., Michnowicz, S. A. K., Tomatis, M., Fubini, B., Delmelle, P., Dunster, C. & Patia, H. (2010) ‘Mineralogical analyses and in vitro screening tests for the rapid evaluation of the health hazard of volcanic ash at Rabaul volcano, Papua New Guinea’, Bulletin of Volcanology, 72(9), 1077-1092. 

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). 

Witter, J. B. & Delmelle, P. (2004) 'Acid gas hazards in the crater of Villarrica volcano (Chile)', Revista Geologica De Chile, 31(2), 273-277. 

Delmelle, P., Stix, J., Baxter, P. J., Garcia-Alvarez, J. & Barquero, J. (2002) 'Atmospheric dispersion, environmental effects and potential health hazard associated with the low-altitude gas plume of Masaya volcano, Nicaragua', Bulletin of Volcanology, 64(6), 423-434.

Delmelle, P., Stix, J., Bourque, C. P.-A., Baxter, P. J., Garcia-Alvarez, J. & Barquero, J. (2001) 'Dry deposition and heavy acid loading in the vicinity of Masaya volcano, a major sulfur and chlorine source in Nicaragua', Environmental Science and Technology, 35, 1289-1293.


English Dutch French German Greek Italian Japanese Portuguese Russian Spanish Indonesian

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.



WebSTAT - Free Web Statistics