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European Volcanism

European Volcanism : Teide, Vesuv/Campi Flegrei

ERUPT (European Research on Understanding Processes and Timescales in magma systems)
Projektleiter Wörner, zusammen mit JProf. A. Heuman and Dr. B. Scheibner
EU-Network - Projekt (5.Frameworkprogramme)

Important questions concerning eruptions - how big? what type? how frequent? can be addressed by examining the record contained within rocks erupted from a volcano, or frozen beneath it. Our objective in ERUPT is to provide new methodologies to relate the characteristics of volcanic rocks to the conditions leading to their eruption. Extending the volcanological constraints to integrate the geochemical and physical record of magma differentiation that is preserved in the rocks is the underlying principle of this proposal.

The approach enables us to estimate the rate at which magma differentiates, the conditions (pressure, temperature, volatile content) of magma storage and the architecture, in terms of relative volumes, of the magma storage system. 

The focus of our efforts will be the rocks produced in volcanic systems. Our approach is innovative in the general field of volcanic hazard prediction, which is typically dominated by geophysical methods. Such methods can tell us about the present state of the system and about short term processes of magma movement at active volcanoes. Our approach will add a time perspective of how the storage and delivery system behaves in the times between, and lead up to, eruptions. Given that magma systems operate over long time scales, a record of behaviour that goes beyond a period of direct observation is essential. Clearly additional benefits stand to be gained from combining the "instantaneous" geophysical methods with the new historical approaches proposed in ERUPT.

Objective 1: Establish the role of magma chamber replenishment in triggering volcanic eruptions and differentiate between physico-chemical processes of magma mixing and heating by new inputs.

Objective 2: Evaluate repose time of volcanic systems and how these relate to textural and chemical records in the rock components which may serve as premonitors for eruptions.

Objective 3: Deliver an improved understanding of the eruptive behaviour of key European volcanoes for the benefit of volcano observatories and civil defence authorities.

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