Dr. Erik W. Klemetti - Denison university



I am assistant professor of Geosciences at Denison University. I teach “hard rock” classes - you might guess that my field is igneous petrology. In my teaching, I emphasize process over minutia, so expect a lot of critical thinking of how different pieces of information can fit together to give us a better picture of the system as a whole.

In my research, I am fascinated with the timescales of magmatic processes and the sources of crystals in magmas. To that end, I use radiometric dating techniques (238U-230Th, 226Ra-230Th, 40Ar-39Ar) and chemical analysis of minerals (using electron microprobe and ion microprobe techniques) to combine the temporal and compositional history of magmas to unlock their evolution. This is more complicated than it seems as many magmas are a “garbage bag” of crystals that have either grown in the magma, been scavenged from the crystal mush of previous eruptions or stolen from the host rock surrounding the magma chamber.

Finally, I write a blog called Eruptions for Wired on volcanoes and volcanism. I’ve always been a fan reading about volcanoes and how they effect human culture positively and negatively. I also get frustrated by the level of misinformation in the popular press about volcanic eruptions and magmatic process, so I try to dispel them on Eruptions.

If you have any questions or are interested in any of my teaching or research, please feel free to contact me at klemettie {at} denison {dot} edu.


Dr. Erik W. Klemetti


  1. GEOS 111: Planet Earth

  2. GEOS 211: Rocks and Minerals

  3. GEOS 312: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

  4. FYS 102: Vulcan’s Fury (Volcanoes and Human Culture)

Research Field Areas

  1. Lassen Peak, California

  2. Mineral King, California

  3. Okataina Caldera Complex, New Zealand

  4. Aucanquilcha, Chile