Mehdi Nikkhoo receives Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship

Dr. Mehdi Nikkhoo, Section "Physics of Earthquakes and Volcanoes", has been granted a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Dr. Mehdi Nikkhoo has been granted a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Mehdi Nikkhoo, post-doctoral researcher in the GFZ’s Section 2.1 “Physics of Earthquakes and Volcanoes”, will join Prof. Yehuda Ben-Zion’s lab at University of Southern California in Los Angeles for a two-year time period. The project will focus on mechanical models of lava dome deformation.

Lava domes are piles of very viscous magma sitting on the summit of some volcanoes known as “dome-building” volcanoes. Due to its high viscosity, the erupted lava does not flow down the flanks but accumulates at the summit and cools down. While crystallising, the lava also degasses, which raises the internal pressure in the dome. Diffuse damage and large-scale fracture networks develop as a response to fluid pressure and contraction due to cooling. Lava domes are prone to catastrophic collapses and thus, are a major source of hazard for the local population.

Mehdi Nikkhoo completed his Master degree in Geodesy in Tehran and his PhD with Prof. Thomas Walter in 2019 on volcano deformation modeling. He then joined the group of Prof. Eleonora Rivalta as a post-doc to work on the link between volcano deformation and gravity changes.

During his Feodor Lynen fellowship, Mehdi Nikkhoo will set up numerical models based on the damage rheology to study the evolution of the fracture networks in lava domes as they pressurize, cool and contract. The models will be calibrated with the results from laboratory experiments on volcanic rock deformation. The aim is to identify the conditions leading to system-size fractures that may lead to dome collapse.

Additional News

Politicians stand aside an ice block and discuss with scientists the ice mass loss in Greenland

20th Anniversary of launch of GRACE with guests from politics, industry and science

Our flowers for International Women's Day

Portrait der GFZ Discovery Fund Fellows

GFZ Discovery Fund Fellows Frank Zwaan and Benjamin Schwarz start their research projects

Statement of the GFZ Executive Board on the war against Ukraine

Moor mit Vegetation

Looking back from the future: How does Germany become carbon neutral?

Humboldt Fellow Dr Tatiana Savranskaia in the Geomagnetism Section

zurückgestreutes Laserlicht

How to look thousands of kilometers deep into the Earth?

"I would like to see young people getting involved in the search process"

Wissenschaftlerinnen, die am GFZ arbeiten.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Ehemaliger Tagebau in Griechenland

From open-pit mining to pumped-hydro power storage

back to top of main content