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Research Highlights


Ken Wohletz


Kenneth Wohletz received his his PhD degree in 1980 in geology, covering geophysical fluid dynamics, mathematical modeling, petrologic thermodynamics, and experimental physics. From 1980 to 1981, he did postdoctoral research in planetary cratering mechanics at NASA and was a guest scientist of the Italian National Research Council. In 1981 he was awarded a Director's Postdoctoral Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for shockwave studies in volcanism.

A technical staff member at LANL since 1983, his recent research efforts have been directed towards several problems:

  1. monitoring technologies for nuclear test sites
  2. numerical simulation of weapons effects and volcanic eruptions
  3. explosive fragmentation and particulate characterization.


Research Interests

  • Nuclear Testing Limitations
  • Numerical Simulation & Experimental Modeling of Geologic Processes
  • Volcanic Hazard Evaluation and Geothermal Energy Exploration
  • Particulate Fragmentation and Transport Physics



  • 505-667-9202 - Phone


Professional Experience

  • 1975-1978: Visiting Staff Member, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM
  • 1976-1976: Graduate Fellow, Lunar and Planetary Science Institute, Houston, TX
  • 1980-1980: Visiting Scientist, Italian National Research Council, ITALY
  • 1980-1981: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Arizona State University, AZ
  • 1981-1983: Director's Postdoctoral Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM
  • 1982-1983: Instructor (Earth and Planetary Science), University of New Mexico, NM
  • 1983-Present: Technical Staff Member (Geophysics), Los Alamos National Lab, NM
  • 1991-2007: Adjunct Professor (Earth & Planetary Science), Univ. of New Mexico, NM
  • 1993-2000: Visiting Professor (Volcanology), University of Naples, ITALY
  • 1998-2000: DOSECC Board of Directors (subsurface technology), Salt Lake City, UT
  • 2000-2004: Guest Scientist (Geophysics), Vesuvius Observatory, Naples, ITALY
  • 2002-2004: Science and Engineering Council, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM
  • 2004-2007: Science Council (Chief Science Office), Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM
  • 2004-2014: PI for Nuclear Testing Limitations, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM
  • 2014-Present: Staff Scientist, Olympic Research, Inc., Port Townsend, WA
  • Link - Professional Experience


Recent Work


Books & Publications List



  • Ph.D., Arizona State University, 1980
  • M.S., Arizona State University, 1977
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1974



  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geological Society of America
  • International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior
  • American Association for Advancement of Science
  • Microbeam Analysis Society
  • Geothermal Research Council



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