ERTH 456 / GEOL 556 - Volcanology



The first 2/3 of the class give an overview of volcanic processes roughly from magma chamber to plume. This involves the investigation of magma storage genesis, conduit dynamics, effusive and explosive eruption processes, and exceptionally large, caldera forming eruptions. The last 1/3 of the course will look into tools for volcano monitoring and analysis. This will be paired with several case studies that require very active student participation. In lieu of homework assignments, the students can expect to be required to read assigned papers particularly for the case studies.


Upper division earth sciences

Required Text:

No textbook required, but required readings will be posted on the class website.

Course Requirements:

There will be no graded homework assignments, but the students will be expected to have reviewed assigned reading before lectures.

Graduate students will prepare a term project including an in-class presentation and an expository term paper of roughly 10-12 pages (NSF Formatting). The topic of this project should be related to the course content and objectives and should involve some data analysis, modeling and interpretation. Your topic must be approved by the instructor before you begin to work on it. You might apply techniques from the course to process, analyze and interpret data that you have gathered in your research, or you might choose one of the provided projects. If you choose thesis related work, it must be a new aspect; recycling of existing work is not permitted. In-class presentations are scheduled for the last week of classes. Note that the first term paper due date will be used to grade for completeness; the second term paper due date will grade on completeness and correctness.


ERTH456 Labs: 50%, Field Trip Reports 30%, Class & Case study participation: 20%.
GEOL556 Labs: 40%, Term Project 50%, Class & Case Study participation: 10%.

Grades will be assigned for each lab based upon assignment completeness and accuracy. Details for field trip reports will be made available before the trip. Unless otherwise noted, assignments will be due one week after they are assigned - they must be submitted prior to the beginning of subsequent lab period. Assignments are due both electronically (submit via email) and in print and must be the work of individual students. Assignments will not be accepted late! There are no exams in this class.

Tentative Schedule: (subject to modification)

Week 1 Aug 22 Lecture 1 RG Introduction, logistics, Examples [pdf]
  Aug 24 LAB 1 RG no lab.
  Aug 26 Lecture 2 RG Volcano Distribution [pdf]
Week 2 Aug 29 Lecture 3 RG Magma origin and composition [pdf]
  Aug 31 LAB 2 RG Viscosity Experiments
  Sep 02 Lecture 4 RG Types of Volcanism & Development of Magma storage systems [pdf]
Week 3 Sep 05 Labor Day, no class
  Sep 07 LAB 3 RG Magma Chamber Experiments
  Sep 09 Lecture 5 ND Magma Chemistry
Week 4 Sep 12 Lecture 6 RG Conduit Systems
  Sep 14 LAB 4 RG Magma Chamber Experiments II
  Sep 16 Lecture 7 RG Effusive Eruptions & Lava Domes
Week 5 Sep 19 Lecture 8 RG Explosive Eruptions
  Sep 21 LAB 5 RG Diet Coke 'n' Mentos & Coffee 'n' Silt Plumes
  Sep 22 EES Seminar FG Fraser Goff: "Valles Caldera Geothermal System"
  Sep 23 Lecture 9 ND Volatiles
  Sep 23 5 PM, Term project idea due
Week 6 Sep 26 Lecture 10 MZ Calderas I
reading: Lipman, 2000
  Sep 28 LAB 6 RG Flour & Sand Calderas
  Sep 30 Lecture 11 MZ Calderas II
  Oct 01 Field Trip I: Jemez
Week 7 Oct 03 Lecture 12 RG Volcanic Plumes I
  Oct 05 LAB 7 RG Igneous Rock Identification
  Oct 07 Lecture 13 RG Volcanic Plumes II
Week 8 Oct 10 Lecture 14 NI Tephra & Tephrochronology
  Oct 12 LAB 8 RG Fall vs Flow: Grain Size Distributions
Group 1, Group 2, Group 3,
  Oct 14 49ers Day, no class
  Oct 14 Valles Report due
Week 9 Oct 17 Lecture 15 MZ NM Volcanism
  Oct 19 LAB 9 RG Tephra Fallout Modeling
  Oct 21 Lecture 16 MZ Volcanic Hazards
Week 10 Oct 24 Lecture 17 RG Volcanoes from Bottom to Top to Deposit: Class-driven Review
  Oct 26 LAB 10 RG Hazard Mapping
  Oct 28 Lecture 18 RG Monitoring and Analysis Techniques re-/overview
  Oct 29 Field Trip II: Joyita Hills
Week 11 Oct 31 Lecture 19 RG Volcano Geodesy
  Nov 02 LAB 11 RG Volcano in a Sandbox
  Nov 04 Lecture 20 RG Case Study - Iceland
Week 12 Nov 07 Lecture 21 TF Volcanic Gases
  Nov 09 LAB 12 RG Setup of Campaign GPS
  Nov 11 Lecture 22 RG Models, Probabilities & more Volcano Deformation
  Nov 11 Field Trip II Report due; 5PM Term Paper Version 1 due
  Nov 12 Field Trip III: El Malpais NM, Grants
Week 13 Nov 14 Lecture 23 BS Volcano Seismology
  Nov 16 LAB 13 RG Case Study: Redoubt 2009 & Volcano Seismology Lab
  Nov 18 Lecture 24 RG IRIS PASSCAL visit
Week 14 Nov 21 Lecture 25 RG InSAR & Other Remote Sensing
  Nov 23 Thanksgiving, no lab
  Nov 25 Thanksgiving, no class
Week 15 Nov 28 Lecture 26 RG Case Study - Yellowstone
  Nov 28 Grants Report due
  Nov 30 LAB 15 RG Observatory Game
  Dec 02 Lecture 27 RG Infrasound
Week 16 Dec 05 Volcanoes and Climate
  Dec 07 Project Presentations
  Dec 09 Case Study - Krakatoa, lab 15 due
  Dec 09 5 PM, final term paper due
Week 16 Dec 10-16 Finals week, no class

rg <at> nmt <dot> edu | Last modified: December 05 2016 17:48.