School of Earth and Environment

Mark Thomas Dr Mark Thomas

Lecturer: Engineering Geology

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 35233
Email address:
Room: 10.17h

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics

Volcanic Studies Group

Geomechanics, Engineering and Petrophysics Group


The overarching goal of my research is to better understand volcanic processes and to put “numbers” to the physical properties of volcanic materials required to do this. I arrived at Leeds in 2009 working within the Volcanic Studies Group studying the generation and evolution of low-frequency volcano-seismic events. In 2014 I became a Lecturer in engineering geology at the university having previously worked for Thyssen Geotechnical (Now Quantum Geotechnical) as an engineering geologist and STATS (Now part of the RSK group) as a geophysical engineer.

Current research areas include improving the understanding of how volcanic domes grow and collapse, investigating if we are able to predict collapse events; better characterizing the mechanical properties of volcanic materials, especially at high temperature and high pressure; and exploring the causes of large-scale volcanic flank collapse

I work within the Volcanic Studies Group and the Geomechanics Group allowing me to get involved in a wide range of projects and I am currently part of the Frontiers Community as a Review Editor in Volcanology for the Frontiers in Earth Scince jounral


  • MESci (Hons) Geology and Geophysics, University of Liverpool (2002)

  • PhD Geomechanics of Volcano Instability and the Effect of Internally Elevated Pore Fluid (Gas) Pressures, Kingston University (2007)


  • Fellow of the Geological Society London (GeolSoc)

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research Interests

Research topics within VSG
  • Conduit Flow Modelling

  • Trigger mechanisms of low-frequency volcano-seismic events

  • Dome growth and instability

  • Large scale volcanic flank instability

Research topics within the Geomechnics Group
  • Geomechanical classification of volcanic products

  • Behaviour of rocks at high temperatures and pressures

  • The use of rock mass classification schemes

Postdocs and PhD students

Teaching Interests

  • Module manager for Engineering Geology, Level 3 (module code SOEE3135)
  • Module manager for Engineering Geology, Level 5 (module code SOEE5195)

Post Graduate
  • Programme Leader for MSc Engineering Geology Programme
  • Engineering Geology: Dissertation Project supervisor
  • Module manager for Geological Investigation and Characterisation (module code SOEE5017M)
  • Lecturer on the module Hazards, Resilience and Sustainable Engineering (module code SOEE5531M)


  • Woodman, J., Murphy, W., Thomas, M. E., Ougier-Simonin, A., Reeves, H., & Berry, T. W. (2017) A novel approach to the laboratory testing of replica discontinuities: 3D printing representative morphologies. In 51st US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, 25-28 June, San Francisco, California. San Francisco, California, USA. Retrieved from
  • Woodman, J., Ougier-Simonin, A., Murphy, W., Thomas, M. E. (2018) Thermal Effects on Discontinuity Behavior: A Laboratory Scale Study. In 52nd US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, 17-20 June, Seattle, Washington, USA. Retrieved from