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Dr Juliet Biggs

Dr Juliet Biggs

Dr Juliet Biggs
BA, MSci(Cantab), PhD(Oxon)


Area of research

The use of InSAR to understand the physics of the processes that deform the earth's surface

Office IC001
Wills Memorial Building,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 5001


My research primarily uses Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) to understand the physics of the processes that deform the earth's surface. Recent developments in satellite geodesy are providing a new perspective on continental tectonics and volcanic processes through observations of aseismic processes such as interseismic strain accumulation, postseismic relaxation and magma intrusion.

These measurements can identify the mechanisms controlling continental deformation and quantify the constitutive laws controlling rheology. My current areas of interest are the East African Rift and the volcanoes of Central America and the Northern Andes. Practical applications of my work include seismic and volcano hazard assessment and geothermal resources.


I received BA and MSci degrees in Natural Sciences in 2003 from the University of Cambridge where I specialised in geology and geophysics. Since then, I’ve been using Earth Observation data to study active tectonic processes such as earthquakes and volcanoes. I received my PhD in 2007 for my work on the earthquake cycle in Alaska. Currently, my work focusses on understanding the volcanic and magmatic processes that cause deformation over a range of timescales. In Central and South America, we are working with volcanic observatories to integrate satellite observations with traditional ground-based monitoring methods and hazard analyses. In East Africa, we are working to understand how and where magma rises and strain accumulates in an active continental rift.  I was awarded the 2012 Winton Capital Award of the Royal Astronomical Society and the 2014 Lloyds of London Science of Risk Prize. 


Teaching Quality Officer


  • magma intrusion
  • postseismic relaxation
  • aseismic processes
  • volcanoes

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr Biggs currently teaches 6 courses:

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