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Magret Damaschke

Magret Damaschke


Tertiary education

  • 2006-12
  • (MSc) Geology and Palaeontology - Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Germany

Masters Research

Magret Damaschke
Working on glass shards at the SEM-EDS at the University of Pisa, Italy (Jul 2011)

Diploma thesis: Tephrostratigraphic studies on a sediment core from Lake Prespa in the Balkans.”

  • The diploma thesis was carried out at the Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, University of Pisa, Italy under the supervision of Bernd Wagner, Giovanni Zanchetta and Roberto Sulpizio. The overall aim of the thesis was to build a detailed tephrostratigraphic record of Lake Prespa, Balkans to reconstruct its paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic history. Distal tephra layers represent individual time marker horizons in the sediments, which have been used to establish an independent event stratigraphy. Further, tephrostratigraphic work provided important information about ash dispersal and explosion patterns of Italian source volcanoes.

Mapping thesis: “Geological mapping of the southern region of Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India.”

  • The mapping thesis forms part of the final diploma and was carried out in cooperation with the Department of Geological Science, University of Jadavpur, Kolkata, India. During a geological mapping survey at the scale of 1:10 000 metamorphic rock-series of the southern region of Namakkal were structurally and petrographically analysed in order to reconstruct the Precambrian crustal evolution of Peninsular India.

Work experience

2007-2012: Student research assistant in Quaternary science at the University of Cologne, Germany

2010: Research Assistant at the Universidad de Colima, Facultad de Ciencias, Colima, Mexico

PhD Research


“High precision tephrochronology: Tracking the time-varying pulse of Mt Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand.”

Research objectives

Tephrochronology has become an important tool in volcanological studies in New Zealand. Tephra layers not only reveal the volcanic eruption history of source volcanoes but also provide an unprecedented view into the time-varying dynamics of volcanoes and their magmatic systems, including any changes in frequency, magnitude and/or geochemical composition.

The overall aim of my research is to produce a detailed tephrochronological framework of andesitic stratovolcano Mt Taranaki by investigating several sediment cores from lakes and swamps in the near-vent area. Considering that the rhyolitic tephra record in New Zealand is reasonably well established, tephro-stratigraphic and -chronological studies of andesitic tephra are still in their infancy due to the more restricted distribution of andesitic tephra, the ease with which those weather and their complex fingerprinting. Hence, the technical challenge during my research will include the development of new correlation tools based on physical, geochemical and petrological properties of andesitic tephra, in conjunction with precise age determinations and associated statistical matching techniques. Further, by building a more precise time‐controlled eruption record I can provide the key to strengthening probabilistic hazard forecasting at Mt Taranaki.

Research Interest

  • Physical volcanology and hazard
  • TEPHRA, tephrostratigraphy and tephrochronology
  • Geochemical and petrological evolution of volcanoes
  • Paleoenvironmentology and Paleoclimatology


My research is funded by a Massey University Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship and the George Mason Trust.


  • Journal Articles

  • Damaschke, M., Cronin, S. J., Torres-Orozco, R., & Wallace, R. C. (2017). Unifying tephrostratigraphic approaches to redefine major Holocene marker tephras, Mt. Taranaki, New Zealand. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (in press) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.02.021
  • Damaschke, M., Cronin, S. J., Holt, K. A., Bebbington, M. S., Hogg, A. G. (2017). A 30,000 yr high-precision eruption history for the andesitic Mt. Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand. Quaternary Research, 87, 1-23.
  • Torres-Orozco, R., Cronin, S. J., Pardo, N., Palmer, A. S. (2017). New insights into Holocene eruption episodes from proximal deposit sequences at Mt. Taranaki (Egmont), New Zealand. Bulletin of Volcanology, 79:3.
  • Damaschke, M., Sulpizio, R., Zanchetta, Z., Wagner, B., Böhm, A., Nowaczyk, N., Rethemeyer, J., Hilgers, A., (2013) Tephrostratigraphic studies on a sediment core from Lake Prespa in the Balkans. Climate of the Past, 9, 267-287.
  • Aufgebauer, A., Panagiotopoulos, K., Wagner, B., Schaebitz, F., Viehberg, F.A., Vogel, H., Zanchetta, G., Sulpizio, R., Leng, M.J., and Damaschke, M., (2012) Climate and environmental change in the Balkans over the last 17 ka recorded in sediments from Lake Prespa (Albania/F.Y.R. of Macedonia/Greece). Quaternary International 274, 122-135.
  • Wagner, B., Aufgebauer, A., Vogel, H., Zanchetta, G., Sulpizio, R., and Damaschke, M., (2012) Late Pleistocene and Holocene contourite drift in Lake Prespa (Albania/F.Y.R. of Macedonia/Greece). Quaternary International 274, 112-121.
  • Conference Abstracts

  • Damaschke, M., Cronin J.C., Torres-Orozco, R., and Wallace, R.C. (2016) Titanomagnetite composition as a tool for geochemical fingerprinting andesitic tephra deposits from Mt. Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand. IAVCEI 3rd International Workshop on Volcano Geology, Etna-Aeolian Islands, Italy.
  • Damaschke, M., Cronin J.C., and Holt, K.A. (2014) A high-resolution distal tephra record from multiple sites around Mt. Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand. GSNZ 2014, New Plymouth, New Zealand
  • Damaschke, M., Cronin J.C., Holt, K.A., Bebbington, M.S., Zellmer, G.F., and Stewart R.B. (2014) High precision tephrochronology: Tracking the time-varying pulse of Mt Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand. Cities on Volcanoes 8, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
  • Zanchetta, G., Wagner, B., Sulpizio, R., Leng, M., and Damaschke, M., (2013) Tephrostratigraphy and paleolimnology of Lake Prespa and Lake Orhid between ca 8 and 50 ka. INTIMATE Meeting, 28th to 30th April, Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scottish Highlands.


Magret Damaschke
Thermal Monitoring of Volcan de Colima, Mexico (May 2010)
Magret Damaschke
Mount Ngauruhoe at Tongariro NP, New Zealand (Nov 2013)