Stephen Sparks (1949-), geologist and volcanologist, has made important contributions to the understanding of the physical processes of volcanoes, particularly volcanic eruptions. Since the early 1970s, he has conducted laboratory experiments, conducted fieldwork around erupting volcanoes and sites of ancient eruptions and developed computer models for predicting, on the basis of physical properties, whether and how volcanoes will erupt. Atthe universities of Lancaster, Rhode Island (US), Cambridge and Bristol, his work has been characterised by a willingness to use insights from other scientific fields, such as the application of research on jet engines to understanding of flows from volcanic vents. Following the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano in 1995, Stephen has served as a Director of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and in 2010 he was involved (with others including Julia Slingo) in advising the UK Government on the effect on air travel of a cloud of ash released by an Icelandic volcano.
- Birth name: Stephen Sparks
- Born: 1949 Harpenden, UK
- Occupation: Geologist
- Disciplines: Geology
- Education: Imperial College, London