Sara Osman

Sara Osman


My PhD research focuses on the impact of volcanic ash loading on buildings, using Ascension Island as a case study. I aim to use field work to characterise building and roof types, laboratory work to understand how ash interacts with buildings, and tephra dispersion modelling to investigate possible eruptive scenarios. I then aim to undertake a probabilistic hazard and vulnerability assessment for Ascension Island. I am funded by the NERC Panorama DTP and the BGS University Funding Initiative (BUFI).

Research interests

My research interests include tephra dispersion modelling and hazard/risk assessment related to tephra fallout. My Masters research included:

  • Assessing the hazard associated with the sedimentation of large clasts from lava fountain-fed plumes at Mount Etna.
  • Compiling grain size distributions for both phreatomagmatic and magmatic eruptions and using the NAME model to investigate how the grain size distribution used to initialise an ash dispersal model impacts the modelled ash plume.

Publications: Osman, S., Thomas, M., Crummy, J., Carver, S. (2022) Investigation of geomechanical properties of tephra relevant to roof loading for application in vulnerability analysesJ Appl. Volcanol. 119 .

Osman, S., Beckett, F., Rust, A., Snee, E. (2020) Sensitivity of volcanic ash dispersion modelling to input grain size distribution based on hydromagmatic and magmatic deposits. Atmosphere, 11, 567.

Osman, S., Rossi, E., Bonadonna, C., Frischknecht, C., Andronico, D., Cioni, R., and Scollo, S. (2019) Exposure-based risk assessment and emergency management associated with the fallout of large clasts at Mount Etna, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 589–610,



  • 2018-2019 MSc by Research, University of Bristol.
  • 2015-2017 MSc Geological and Environmental Hazards, University of Portsmouth.
  • 2008-2013 BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences), Open University.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics
  • Volcanology