Dr Adrian Pittari

Senior Lecturer

Qualifications: BSc(Hons) Melbourne, PhD Monash

Research Interests

My core research interest is in volcanic eruption histories, physical eruption processes and related volcaniclastic sedimentation processes in both modern and ancient deposits, with current research projects in:

(1) The pre- and early Taupo Volcanic Zone - central North Island volcanism from ~3 to 1 Ma (Tauranga Volcanic Centre, Alexandra Volcanic Group and Mangakino Volcanic Centre),

(2) Ignimbrite-forming processes - eruption, emplacement and post-emplacement modification,

(3) Monogenetic volcanism (Okete and South Auckland volcanic fields), and

(4) Young volcanic vent systems (e.g. Tongariro).

My research seeks to improve our understanding of the future risk of active volcanoes, the mineral resources preserved in old volcanic systems and the cultural heritage of volcanic settings.

Research Supervised


As chief supervisor

  • Prentice, Marlena (in progress). Volcanism of the Tauranga and Kaimai volcanic centres: silicic volcanism at the dawn of the modern Taupo Volcanic Zone.
  • McLeod, Oliver (in progress). Volcanology of the Alexandra Volcanic Group, North Island, New Zealand.
  • Yousefzadeh, Elham (in progress). Eruption and emplacement of the 1.3-Ma Ongatiti Ignimbrite, New Zealand: Regional pathways, particle processes, and pumice evolution associated with a large-volume pyroclastic flow deposit.

As supervisor

  • Spinardi, Francesca (in progress) The geomorphic and geomechanical behavior of Quaternary volcaniclastic soft sediments during seismic events in the Hamilton Basin.
  • Loame, Remedy (in progress). Hidden hazards: revealing new insight into ashfall volcanic hazards in the Waikato region by detecting and analysing glass shard concentrations (cryptotephras) in lake sediments.
  • Andrew, Ben (in progress).  Isotopic and geochemical footprints of carbonate hosted copper deposits at Mount Isa, Northwest Queensland, Australia.
  • Mering, John (2019). Emerging stable isotope techniques in hydrothermal research: new methods applied to carbonates and hydrous minerals in ore deposits and geothermal fields.
  • Shokri, Ali (2016). Developing groundwater and surface water interaction methods for complex hydrological systems.

MSc, MSc (Research) and MSc (Tech)

  • Namaliu, Miriam (in progress). Volcanology of the Papamoa ignimbrites, Tauranga Volcanic Centre
  • Gopalakrishnan, Srilakshmi (in progress).  Ignimbrite geology in the Blue Springs area, Putaruru
  • Hansen, Madison (2020). Volcanic and sedimentary geology of the basaltic Karaka Volcano, South Auckland.
  • Ross, ChrisAnne (2020). Volcanology and secondary alteration of the 1.6 Ma Ngaroma Ignimbrite, Upper Waipari Valley.
  • Harvey-Wishart, Holly (2019). Characteristics and origin of hydrothermal pebble dykes and associated host rock alteration on the Thames Coast, Coromandel Volcanic Zone.
  • Geraghty, Krystal (2019). Precursory eruptions, magma priming and eruption dynamics associated with the climactic 19th February 1975 eruption of Ngauruhoe.
  • Prentice, Marlena (2017).  Volcanic geology of Maungatautari: An andesitic-dacitic composite cone, central Waikato, New Zealand.
  • Spinardi, Francesca (2017). Preliminary evaluation of tectonic geomorphological signals within the Hamilton Basin.
  • Kapasi, Aliasgar (2016). Volcanology of the basaltic lava succession within the Auckland pit of the Bombay Quarry, Bombay Volcanic Complex, South Auckland Volcanic Field.
  • Cook, Elizabeth (2016). Felsic volcanism in the eastern Waihi area: Process origins of the Corbett and Ratarua ignimbrites and the Hikurangi Rhyolite.
  • Julian, Hannah (2016). Volcanology of the Owharoa and Waikino ignimbrites, Waihi, Coromandel Volcanic Zone.
  • Loame, Remedy (2016). Using a tephrostratigraphic framework to determine the past 40,000 years of fault rupture and paleohydrothermal activity on the east strand of the Whirinaki Fault, Ngakuru Graben, central Taupo Volcanic Zone.
  • Bodger, Billy (2015). Andesite volcanic facies and hydrothermal alteration in the subsurface peripheral to existing Waihi mine workings.
  • Mullane, Kevin (2015). Geophysical characterisation of the Onewhero and Kellyville volcanic complexes, South Auckland Volcanic Field.
  • Mauriohooho, Kate (2015). Alteration mineralogy and whole-rock geochemistry of the Tauhara Geothermal Field.
  • Simons, Benjamin (2014). Volcanic history and eruption processes of Blue Lake Crater, Tongariro.
  • Brink, Megan (2012). Emplacement processes of ignimbrites in the Ongatiti Valley, southeast Te Kuiti.
  • Lanigan, Kerry (2012). Characterisation and paleoclimatic signals within tephric loess deposits aged between c. 33 to 9.5 cal ka in the Rotorua area, northern New Zealand.
  • Taylor, Simon (2012). Volcanology of the Raventhorpe and Pokeno West Volcanic Complexes, South Auckland Volcanic Field.
  • Vincent, Kirsty (2012). U-Pb dating of silicic volcanic rocks of the Eastern Coromandel Peninsula.
  • Vestman Andersen, Linda (2011). A comparison of buried andesites at Ngatamariki and Rotokawa geothermal fields, Taupo.
  • Gibson, April (2011). Volcanology of tuff rings at Kellyville, Onewhero and Bombay, South Auckland Volcanic Field.
  • Matheson, Maree (2010). Eruptions dynamics and hydrological implications of basaltic volcanic centres at Lake Taupo.
  • Sanders, Fiona (2010). Rheology and flow emplacement processes of the 1954 lavas, Mount Ngauruhoe.
  • Krippner, Janine (2009). Ngauruhoe inner crater volcanic processes of the 1954-1955 and 1974-1975 eruptions.


  • Ilanko, Tehnuka (2010). Eruption and emplacement of the Barriball Road Tuff Ring, South Auckland.

Teaching Commitments


Geology; Science; Volcanoes

Recent Publications

  • Pittari, A., Lowe, D. J., Hendy, C. H., Nelson, C. S., & Neall, V. E. (2020). Ian Devereux MSc, PhD, FNZIC, AMAusIMM (1940-2020) - geoscientist and founder of Rocklabs. In Geoscience Society of New Zealand Newsletter (Vol. 31, pp. 56-59). Geoscience Society of New Zealand.

  • McLeod, O. E., Briggs, R. M., Brenna, M., & Pittari, A. (2019). Scales of geochemical variation among cross-arc basaltic stratovolcanoes in North Island: the Alexandra Volcanic Group. In P. J. J. Kamp, & A. Pittari (Eds.), Abstract Volume: Geosciences 2019 (pp. 132). Conference held in Hamilton, New Zealand.

  • Hansen, M. K. I., Pittari, A., & Hayward, B. W. (2019). A hidden volcano in the South Auckland Volcanic Feld: Karaka Volcano. In P. J. J. Kamp, & A. Pittari (Eds.), Abstract Volume: Geosciences 2019 (pp. 75). Conference held in Hamilton, New Zealand.

  • Lowe, D. J., & Pittari, A. (Eds.) (2019). Field trip guides 1-4, Geosciences 2019. In Geosciences 2019 Vol. Geoscience Society of New Zealand Miscellaneous Publication (pp. 1-128). Hamilton: Geoscience Society of New Zealand. Open Access version:

View All research publications by Adrian Pittari

Contact Details

Room: DE.3.01
Phone: +64 7 838 4191