Hélène Le Mével
Postdoctoral Fellow

Helene Le Mevel

Research Interests

Volcano deformation; geodetic data analysis; volcanic unrest; numerical modeling of magmatic processes


B.S., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Université de Nantes, 2009
M.S., Geophysics, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, 2011
Ph.D., Geophysics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016

Contact & Links

  • (202) 478-8842 | fax: (202) 478-8821
  • hlemevel at carnegiescience.edu
  • Earth and Planets Laboratory
    Carnegie Institution for Science
    5241 Broad Branch Road, NW
    Washington, DC 20015-1305
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Publications


Helene Le Mevel
[modified after Le Mével et al. (2016)]. Modeled time series (black curve) of cumulative vertical displacement at Laguna del Maule for a point located at GPS station MAU2 (magenta asterisk on inset) from 2007 to 2014, as derived from InSAR data and assuming a model of magma injection starting in 2007 in an elastic domain. Grey dots are vertical displacement GPS time series for station MAU2. Inset: ALOS interferogram showing the uplift spatial pattern and spanning the 368 day time interval from 17 February 2009 to 20 February 2010. One cycle of phase denotes 118.1 mm of range change.

Hélène Le Mével’s research focuses on understanding the surface deformation measured at volcanoes. In her Ph.D. research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she used GPS and InSAR data to study the ongoing unrest started in 2007 at Laguna del Maule volcanic field in Chile and characterized by high rates of uplift. Using time series analysis she revealed a nonlinear temporal evolution of the uplift, modeled as the injection of new magma into a large reservoir at depth.

As a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Terrestrial Magentism, she is developing numerical models to investigate the magmatic processes responsible for the deformation measured at large silicic systems both on the decadal (“geodetic”) timescale and the geological timescale of thousands of years. These multiphysics models will allow her to consider the evolving physical processes occurring in the magma chamber, thereby considering deformation episodes as observed today in the framework of the complete volcanic cycle. Using geodetic data, she is also studying the interplay between tectonics (e.g. faulting) and magmatism at actively deforming volcanoes.