Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New volcano research moves closer to predicting eruptions

22.02.2006


Research into how volcanoes erupt led by Durham University’s Earth Sciences Department is taking volcanologists a step closer to being able to predict when and on what scale volcanoes will erupt.



In the three-year EU Erupt Project, funded by almost half a million euros of EU Framework 5 funding, scientists from seven European universities are working on four volcanoes. They have developed new techniques to examine what happens underground before a volcano erupts and how magma develops and have made a considerable breakthrough in dating past geophysical events that preceded eruptions. A key set of clues comes from the study of cores and rims on crystals which have grown from the magmas, which can be read like tree rings.

Using this new technique, volcanologists can now correlate data from traditional volcanology – the study of deposits from past volcanoes (or ‘volcanic autopsy’) to date previous eruptions, with geophysics – which offers a real time snapshot of state of a volcanic system. For example the team working on Vesuvius dated a magmatic event which appears to correspond to the occurrence of an earthquake 17 years before the volcano famously erupted in AD79. The importance of this is that for the first time volcanologists can set a timescale on the impact of geophysical activity on magma systems and interpret the link to volcanic eruptions or hazards.


Professor Jon Davidson, from Durham University and Principal Investigator on ERUPT said: “These new techniques are helping us build up profiles for different volcano types, which will help volcanologists around the world understand better how magma works, its composition – what makes it more volatile – how it is stored and how and when it is likely to cause an eruption.”

The EU ERUPT Project (European Research on Understanding Processes and Timescales of Magma Evolution in Volcanic Systems), involves scientists from seven European universities, selected for their diverse range of expertise in volcanology with experience working with volcanic systems all over the world. The other institutions involved in the ERUPT Project are the University of Florence, University of Goettingen, Vesuvius Observatory (Naples), University of Leeds, CSIC (Barcelona) and University College, Dublin.

The team chose four European volcanoes to study for the project that represented a broad range of types of volcanoes in terms of size, frequency and intensity of eruption, from Stromboli with frequent relatively gentle eruptions, to Teide and Vesuvius with medium scale eruptions to Campi Flegrei representing the larger end of the scale. The techniques include examining crystals, rock textures and exhumed magma chambers, dating rocks and crystals and determining the pressures and temperatures of crystal growth and exchange between magmas.

The results of this research have been presented to the Italian civil authorities and a number of papers have been published in peer-review journals such as Journal of Petrology on various aspects of the project.

Jane Budge | alfa
Further information:
http://www.durham.ac.uk/news

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA examines newly formed Tropical Depression 3W in 3-D
26.04.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle
25.04.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>