Chiara P. Montagna

Chiara MontagnaRicercatrice, fisica dei processi vulcanici
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, sezione di Pisa
via Cesare Battisti 53
56125 Pisa, Italy

I study the physics of underground volcanic processes related to magma movement at depth, and try to relate such motion to measurable quantities at the Earth’s surface such as seismicity. Identifying the causative link between deep processes that we cannot measure and geophysical and geochemical signals that are routinely recorded is the main aim of my research, and I am pursuing it in a variety of ways and using different tools.


  • MagmaFOAM-1.0 has been released! Loads of benchmarking and test cases for our volcano modeling tool.
  • Virtual Access to the Volcano Dynamics Computational Center now open! Run volcano dynamics codes online.


I am a physicist by background: I hold a BSc, an MSc and a PhD in Physics from the University of Pisa, on variuos subjects related to plasma physics. My studies provided me with a strong knowledge of fluid dynamics as well as statistical mechanics, which I can now apply to understand the physics of volcanic systems.
I make strong use of high-performance-computing for my research. I perform numerical simulations to solve the multi-phase, multi-component equations of fluid dynamics of magmatic systems, characterized by non-ideal equations of state and mixture properties. I use in-house parallel codes that I have contributed to developing; I program in C++ and  Fortran, and more recently I started using OpenFOAM, a powerful and versatile open-source CFD platform.
I also enjoy analytical modeling, which I find very useful in order to get a first-order glimpse on how the investigated processes evolve.



  • Computational fluid dynamics: Numerical techniques for multiphase flow simulations.
  • Dynamics of magmatic plumbing systems: Thermo-fluid dynamics of magma storage zones.
  • Geophysical records at volcanoes: Ground deformation, seismicity and gravity anomaly related to volcanic activity.

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