Dr. Munoz-Saez's outdoors

Carolina Muñoz-Saez

Assistant Professor She/her/hers


  • 2020 – 2021 Researcher LDEO, Columbia University and City College of New York
  • 2017 – 2020 Postdoctoral Researcher CEGA Institute, University of Chile
  • 2009 – 2010 Exploration Geologist, Punta del Cobre Mining Company, Chile
  • 2008 – 2009 Exploration Geologist, GEOVECTRA Mining Consultants, Chile
  • 2005 – 2007 Project geologist, Fundación Chile - BGR Germany, Geothermal project, Chile

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding the evolution of hydrothermal systems from an integrated perspective, by connecting them with geological events (volcanic eruptions and earthquakes), and climatic fluctuations (e.g. glaciations and changes in regional groundwater circulation patterns). I am an observational geoscientist that incorporates fieldwork, geophysics, geochemistry, and numerical modeling.

My research interest involves a variety of topics, including:

  • Hydrothermal systems
  • Epithermal ore deposits
  • Volcanology
  • Hydrogeology
  • Geobiology
  • Planetary Analogs


  • Ph.D., Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 2016
  • M.S., Geology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, 2007
  • B.S., Geology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, 2005

Selected publications

  • Gong, J., Munoz-Saez, C., Wilmeth, D., Myers, K., Homann, M., Arp, G., Skok, J., van Zuilen, M. Morphogenesis of digitate structures in hot spring silica sinters of the El Tatio geothermal field, Chile (2021). Geobiology.
  • Montecinos-Cuadros, D., Diaz, D., Yogeshwar, P., Munoz-Saez, C. Characterization of the shallow structure of El Tatio geothermal field in the Central Andes, Chile using transient electromagnetics (2021). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2021.107198.
  • Reed, M.H., C. Munoz-Saez, S. Hajimirza, S.-M. Wu, A. Barth, T. Girona, M. Rasht-Behesht, E.B. white, M.S. Karplus, S. Hurwitz and M. Manga (2021) The 2018 reawakening of Steamboat, Yellowstone National Park, the world’s tallest geyser, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 118, e2020943118.
  • Munoz-Saez, C., Perez-Nunez, C., Martini, S., Vargas-Barrera, A., Reich, M., Morata, D., and Manga, M., 2020. The Alpehue geyser field, Sollipulli Volcano, Chile. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2020.107065.
  • Wilmeth, D., Nabhan, S., Myers K., Slagter S., Lalonde, S., Sansjofre, P., Homann, M., Konhauser, K., Munoz-Saez, C., Van Zuilen, M. 2020. Depositional evolution of an extinct sinter mound from source to outflow, El Tatio, Chile. Sedimentary Geology
  • Munoz-Saez, C., Manga, M., Hurwitz, S., Slagter, S., Churchill, D.M., Reich, M., Damby, D. and Morata, D., 2020. Radiocarbon dating of silica sinter and postglacial hydrothermal activity in the El Tatio geyser field. Geophysical Research Letters, p.e 2020GL087908.
  • Gong, J., Myers, K., Munoz-Saez, C., Homann, M., Wirth, R., Schreiber, A., Van Zuilen, M., 2020. Formation and Preservation of Microbial Palisade Fabric in Silica Deposits from El Tatio, Chile. Astrobiology. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2019.2025
  • Slagter, S., Reich, M., Munoz-Saez, C., Southon, J., Morata, D., Barra, F., Gong, J., Skok, J. R., 2019. Environmental controls on silica sinter formation revealed by radiocarbon dating. Geology, 47(4), 330-334.
  • Ardid, A., Vera, E., Kelly, C., Manga, M., Munoz-Saez, C., Maksymowicz, A., Ortega-Culaciati, F., 2019. Geometry of geyser plumbing inferred from ground deformation. Journal of Geophysical Research. doi.org/10.1029/2018JB016454.
  • Munoz-Saez, C., Manga, M. and Hurwitz, S., 2018. Hydrothermal discharge from the El Tatio basin, Atacama, Chile. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 361, pp.25-35.
  • Namiki, A., Ueno, Y., Hurwitz, S., Manga, M., Munoz-Saez, C., and Murphy, F., 2016. An experimental study of the role of subsurface plumbing on geothermal discharge. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. doi:10.1002/2016GC006472
  • Munoz-Saez, C., Saltiel, S., Manga, M., Nguyen, C. and Gonnermann, H., 2016. Physical and hydraulic properties of modern sinter deposits: El Tatio, Atacama. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 325, pp.156-168.
  • Munoz-Saez, C., A. Namiki, and M. Manga, 2015. Geyser eruption intervals and interactions: examples from El Tatio, Atacama, Chile, Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 120, doi: 10.1002/2015JB012364
  • Munoz-Saez, C., Manga, M., Hurwitz, S., Rudolph, M., Namiki, A., Wang, C., 2015. Dynamics within geyser conduits, and sensitivity to environmental perturbations: Insights from a periodic geyser in the El Tatio geyser field, Atacama Desert, Chile. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.01.002.

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