ERTH 456 / GEOL 556 - Volcanology



Roughly 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 thoroughly read assigned texts 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 20 Lecture 1 RG Introduction, logistics, Examples [pdf]
  Aug 22 Lecture 2 RG Volcano Distribution & Magma [pdf]
  Aug 22 LAB 1 RG viscosity
Week 2 Aug 27 Lecture 3 RG Types of Volcanism and Development of Storage Systems [pdf]
  Aug 29 Reading 1 RG Cashman & Sparks (2013), How do volcanoes work?
  Aug 29 no lab, reading!
Week 3 Sep 03 Labor Day, no class
  Sep 05 Reading 2 RG van Wyk de Vries (2018), Tectonics and Plumbing systems
  Sep 05 no lab, reading!
Week 4 Sep 10 Lecture 4 MZ Caldera Introduction
  Sep 12 Lecture 5 MZCaldera Forming Eruptions
  Sep 12 Reading 03 RG Sigmundsson et al. (2018), Magma Movements in Volcanic Plumbing Systems
  Sep 15 Field Trip I: Jemez
Week 5 Sep 17 Lecture 6 RG Paper Discussions
  Sep 19 Lecture 7 RG Paper Discussions
  Sep 19 Lab 2 RG Calderas; reading: Lipman, 2000
Week 6 Sep 24 Lecture 8 RG Conduits
  Sep 26 Lecture 9 RG Conduits cont'd
Magma Chemistry
  Sep 26 Lab 2 RG Conduit Formation
Week 7 Oct 01 Lecture 10 NI Volatiles
  Oct 03 Lecture 11 RG effusive eruptions
  Oct 03 Lab 4 RG Magma Chamber Experiments 2
Week 8 Oct 08 Lecture 12 RG explosive eruptions
  Oct 10 Lecture 13 RG volcanic plumes
  Oct 10 Lab 5 RG Grain Size Distribution
Week 9 Oct 15 Lecture 14 MZ New Mexico Volcanism
  Oct 17 Lecture 15 MZ Volcanic Hazards
  Oct 17 Lab 6 LF Rock ID
Week 10 Oct 22 Lecture 16 RG volcanic plumes 2
  Oct 24 Lecture 17 NI Tephra & Tephrachronology
  Oct 24 Lab 7 RG Volcanic Plume Modeling
Week 11 Oct 29 Lecture 18 RG Volcanoes from Bottom to Deposit
  Oct 31 Lecture 19 RG Volcano Monitoring: Volcano Geodesy
  Oct 31 Lab 8 RG Tephra Fallout Modeling

rg <at> nmt <dot> edu | Last modified: October 29 2018 14:36.