I’m involved in the geothermal world because of a background in studying volcanism and magmatism in the Taupō Volcanic Zone (TVZ) and elsewhere, and a curiosity about how the geothermal manifestations reflect the fundamental heat source and tectonic processes. All aspects of how volcanoes operate are interlinked and geothermal systems are an integral part of that linkage.
My particular contribution to the geothermal realm so far has been to drive the dating of buried altered rocks in geothermal systems through U-Pb age dating of zircons. This has provided a framework within which the 3-D stratigraphy of the geothermal systems can be set within context in the overall volcanic, magmatic and tectonic evolution of the whole TVZ.
I have no particular favourite parts of the work. If you look at my Google Scholar profile, you’ll see that I get involved with many aspects of the geosciences, and each project offers new perspectives, training and ideas.
There are too many to easily choose, but the 1995 review paper on the TVZ brought together a lot of new ideas into a synthesis that represented a coherent overview that is still heavily cited. Much of this material has been superseded by more recent work, and the picture is constantly evolving.
Wilson, C.J.N., Houghton, B.F., McWilliams, M.O., Lanphere, M.A., Weaver, S.D., Briggs, R.M., 1995. Volcanic and structural evolution of Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand: a review. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 68, 1-28.
On the slopes of Cerberus, a ~100 ka dacite dome in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Alaska. .
Working with a US Geological Survey colleague, Judy Fierstein, on the products of the 1912 eruption. No geothermal activity is involved…
Read more about Colin's experience here.