How volcanoes work: a 25 year perspective

Katharine V. Cashman*, R. Stephen J. Sparks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the past 25 years, our understanding of the physical processes that drive volcanic eruptions has increased enormously thanks to major advances in computational and analytical facilities, instrumentation, and collection of comprehensive observational, geophysical, geochemical, and petrological data sets associated with recent volcanic activity. Much of this work has been motivated by the recognition that human exposure to volcanic hazard is increasing with both expanding populations and increasing reliance on infrastructure ( as illustrated by the disruption to air traffic caused by the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland). Reducing vulnerability to volcanic eruptions requires a thorough understanding of the processes that govern eruptive activity. Here, we provide an overview of our current understanding of how volcanoes work. We focus particularly on the physical processes that modulate magma accumulation in the upper crust, transport magma to the surface, and control eruptive activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-690
Number of pages27
JournalGeological Society of America Bulletin
Volume125
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • MOUNT-ST-HELENS
  • SOUFRIERE HILLS VOLCANO
  • 1980 LATERAL BLAST
  • SUBMARINE SILICIC CALDERA
  • CRYSTAL-MELT SUSPENSIONS
  • TEPHRA FALL DEPOSITS
  • LAVA DOME ERUPTIONS
  • APRIL 2011 ERUPTION
  • IZU-BONIN ARC
  • KILAUEA VOLCANO

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