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Volcanology (also spelled vulcanology) is the study of volcanoes, lava, magma, and related geological phenomena. The term volcanology is derived from the Latin word vulcan, the Roman god of fire. Volcanology is a branch of geology. This article is about volcanoes in geology. ... Look up lava, Aa, pahoehoe in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Magma is molten rock located beneath the surface of the Earth (or any other terrestrial planet), and which often collects in a magma chamber. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Vulcan, in Roman mythology, is the son of Jupiter and Juno, and husband of Maia and Venus. ... A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...

A volcanologist is a person who studies the formation of volcanoes, and their current and historic eruptions. Volcanologists frequently visit volcanoes, especially active ones, to observe volcanic eruptions, collect eruptive products including tephra (such as ash or pumice), rock and lava samples. One major focus of enquiry is the prediction of eruptions; there is currently no accurate way to do this, but predicting eruptions, like predicting earthquakes, could save many lives. Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Tephra refers to air-fall material produced by a volcanic eruption regardless of composition or fragment size. ... Ash plume from Mt Cleveland, a stratovolcano Diamond Head, a well-known backdrop to Waikiki in Hawaii, is an ash cone that solidified into tuff Volcanic ash consists of very fine rock and mineral particles less than 2 mm in diameter that are ejected from a volcanic vent. ... Specimen of highly porous pumice from Teide volcano on Tenerife, Canary Islands. ... This article is about the geological substance. ... Look up lava, Aa, pahoehoe in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


History of volcanology

Volcanology has a very extensive history. The earliest known recording of a volcanic eruption is recorded by a c.6000 BC wall painting of a volcanic eruption. The painting, from the Neolithic site at Çatal Höyük (also known as Çatalhöyük Çatal Hüyük) in Anatolia, Turkey, shows a twin peaked volcano in eruption, with a town at its base. The volcano is probably Hasan Dag, which has two peaks. Excavations at the South Area of Çatal Höyük Çatalhöyük (also Çatal Höyük and Çatal Hüyük, or any of the three without diacritics; çatal is Turkish for fork, höyük for mound) was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern... This article is about two nested areas of Turkey, a plateau region within a peninsula. ... Mount Hasan (Turkish: ) is an inactive volcano in NiÄŸde Province, Turkey. ...

Mythical explanations

The classical world of Greece and the early Roman Empire explained volcanoes as the work of the gods as science and alchemy had no explanation for their existence. Grecian myths and tales tell of Atlantis, a fabled island which sank into the sea. Plato (428-348 B.C.) told of the disappearance of a vast island and its powerful civilization, the Atlanteans, in two of his dialogues, Critias and Timaeus. It is now considered that the island of Thera, now Santorini, in the Aegean Sea, was destroyed by a tremendous series of volcanic explosions around 1620 B.C., with ash falls of up to a foot deep recorded in Turkey. The explosion of Thera sent colossal tidal waves, estimated at 100 feet height, racing across the Aegean, and the southern coast of Crete. Other recordings of the Thera eruption spawned Greek myths, namely the Deucalion, in which Poseidon, god of the sea, took revenge upon Zeus by inundating Attica, Argolis, Salonika, Rhodes and the coast of Lycia (Turkey) to Sicily. For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Atlantis (disambiguation). ... View from the top of Thira Santorini is a small, circular group of volcanic islands located in the Aegean Sea, 75 km south-east of the Greek mainland, (latitude: 35. ... Santorini (Greek Σαντορίνη, IPA: ) is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km south-east from Greeces mainland. ... Neptune reigns in the city of Bristol. ... For other uses, see Zeus (disambiguation). ... Attica (in Greek: Αττική, Attike; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a periphery (subdivision) in Greece, containing Athens, the capital of Greece. ... Argolis (Greek, Modern: Αργολίδα Argolida, Ancient/Katharevousa: Αργολίς -- still the official, formal name) is one of the fifty-one prefectures of Greece. ... The White Tower The Arch of Galerius Map showing the Thessaloníki prefecture Thessaloníki (Θεσσαλονίκη) is the second-largest city of Greece and is the principal city and the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia. ... This article is about the Greek island of Rhodes. ... Lycian rock cut tombs of Dalyan Lycian rock cut tombs of Dalyan Lycia (in Lycian, Trm̃misa (see List of Lycian place names); in ancient Greek, Λυκία and in modern Turkish, Likya) is a region in the modern-day provinces of Antalya and MuÄŸla on the southern coast of Turkey. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ...

Greeks also considered that Hephaestus, the god of fire, sat below the volcano Etna, forging the weapons of Zeus. His minions, the cyclops with their single staring eye, may be an allegory to the round craters and cones of a volcano. Indeed, the Greek word used to describe volcanoes was etna, or hiera, after Heracles, the son of Zeus. The Roman poet Virgil, in interpreting the Greek mythos, held that the hero Enceladus was buried beneath Etna by the goddess Athena as punishment for disobeying the gods; the mountain's rumblings were his tormented cries, the flames his breath and the tremors his railing against the bars of his prison. Enceladus' brother Mimas was buried beneath Vesuvius by Hephaestus, and the blood of other defeated giants welled up in the Phlegrean Fields surrounding Vesuvius. Hephaestus (pronounced or ; Greek HÄ“phaistos) was a Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan; he was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals and metallurgy, and fire. ... For other meanings of Etna, see Etna (disambiguation). ... This page is about the mythical creature. ... Alcides redirects here. ... For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ... Fountain of the Gigantes in the gardens of Versailles In Greek mythology, Enceladus was one of the Gigantes, the enormous children of Gaia (Earth). ... Mimas may refer to: Mimas, son of Gaia in Greek mythology, was one of the Giants slain by Heracles. ... Mount Vesuvius (Italian: Monte Vesuvio) is a volcano east of Naples, Italy, located at 40°49′N 14°26′ E. It is the only active volcano on the European mainland, although it is not currently erupting. ...

Tribal legends of volcanoes abound from the Pacific Ring of Fire and the Americas, usually invoking the forces of the supernatural or the divine to explain the violent outbursts of volcanoes. Taranaki and Tongariro, according to Māori mythology, were lovers who fell in love with Pihanga, and a spiteful jealous fight ensued. Māori will not to this day live between Tongariro and Taranaki for fear of the dispute flaring up again. “The Ring of Fire” redirects here. ... View of Mount Taranaki or Mount Egmont from Stratford, facing west. ... Mount Tongariro is a volcanic mountain complex in the North Island of New Zealand. ... Mount Pihanga is a 1325m volcanic peak in the North Island Volcanic Plateau, located to the north of Mount Tongariro, between Tongariro and Lake Taupo. ...

Greco-Roman science

Eruption of Vesuvius in 1822. The eruption of AD 79 would have appeared very similar.
Eruption of Vesuvius in 1822. The eruption of AD 79 would have appeared very similar.

The first attempt at a scientific explanation of volcanoes was undertaken by the Greek philosopher Empedocles (c. 490-430 B.C.), who saw the world divided into four elemental forces, of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Volcanoes, Empedocles maintained, were the manifestation of Elemental Fire. Plato contended that channels of hot and cold waters flow in inexhaustible quantities through subterranean rivers. In the depths of the earth snakes a vast river of fire, the Pyriphlegethon, which feeds all the world's volcanoes. Aristotle considered underground fire as the result of "the...friction of the wind when it plunges into narrow passages." The Eruption of Vesuvius as seen from Naples, October 1822 from V. Day & Son, in G. Poullet Scrope, Masson, 1864 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... The Eruption of Vesuvius as seen from Naples, October 1822 from V. Day & Son, in G. Poullet Scrope, Masson, 1864 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Empedocles (Greek: , ca. ...

Wind would play a key role in explanations of volcanoes until the 16th century. Lucretius, a Roman philosopher, claimed Etna was completely hollow and the fires of the underground driven by a fierce wind circulating near sea level. Ovid believed that the flame was fed from "fatty foods" and eruptions stopped when the food ran out. Vitruvius contended that sulfur, alum and bitumen fed the deep fires. Observations by Pliny the Elder noted the presence of earthquakes preceded an eruption; he died in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD while investigating it at Stabiae. His nephew, Pliny the Younger gave detailed descriptions of the eruption in which his uncle died, attributing his death to the effects of toxic gases. Such eruptions have been named Plinian in honour of the two authors. Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus (c. ... Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born c. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Mount Vesuvius (Italian: Monte Vesuvio) is a volcano east of Naples, Italy, located at 40°49′N 14°26′ E. It is the only active volcano on the European mainland, although it is not currently erupting. ... The city of Stabiae was at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, and therefore was one of the communities damaged by its eruption in 79 AD. Some few people got away from the initial lava, and told others of the coming erruption, but succumbed to the ash as it started to... Gayus Plinius Colonoscopy Caecilius Secundus (63 - ca. ... Eruption of Vesuvius in 1822. ...

Christian mythology

The study of volcanology was not advanced much between the days of Plato and Hutton. The Christian world explained volcanoes by a multitude of prescientific notions, but it was also thought they were the work of Satan or the wrath of God, and only saintly miracles could avert their wrath. For this reason the relics of Saint Agatha were paraded in front of lava advancing on Catania in 253 A.D., and miraculously the lava clove in two (down two valleys) and spared the town. Unfortunately the relics of St. Agatha proved ineffective in 1669, with the loss of much of Catania to Etna's lava. This article is about the concept of Satan. ... For other uses, see Relic (disambiguation). ... Saint Agatha (died AD 251) is a Christian saint. ... The Roman Odeon. ...

In 1660 the eruption of Vesuvius rained twinned pyroxene crystals and ash upon the nearby villages. The twinned pyroxene crystals resembled the crucifix and this was interpreted as the work of Saint Januarius. In Naples, the relics of St Januarius are paraded through town at every major eructation of Vesuvius. The register of these processions allowed British diplomat and amateur naturalist Sir William Hamilton to document Vesuvius' eruptions, one of the first few 'scientific' studies of the eruptive history of a volcano. Figure 1:Mantle-peridotite xenolith with green peridot olivine and black pyroxene crystals from San Carlos Indian Reservation, Gila Co. ... Januarius is the name of a month in the ancient Roman calendar, called January in English. ... Location of the city of Naples (red dot) within Italy. ... William Hamilton Sir William Douglas Hamilton (December 13, 1730–April 6, 1803) was a Scottish diplomat, antiquarian, archaeologist and volcanologist. ...

Renaissance observations

Renaissance descriptions of volcanoes vastly improved the state of knowledge, despite the resistance of the Church to scientific explorations of the natural world, especially those which were at odds with Biblical teachings. Nevertheless, nuees ardentes were described from the Azores in 1580. Georgius Agricola argued the rays of the sun, as later proposed by Descartes had nothing to do with volcanoes. Agricola believed vapor under pressure caused eruptions of 'mointain oil' and basalt. Georg Agricola Georg (or Georgius) Agricola (March 24, 1490 - November 21, 1555) was a German scholar and man of science. ... René Descartes René Descartes (IPA: , March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Cartesius, worked as a philosopher and mathematician. ...

Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680) witnessed eruptions of Mount Etna and Stromboli, then visited the crater of Vesuvius and published his view of an Earth with a central fire connected to numerous others caused by the burning of sulfur, bitumen and coal. Athanasius Kircher ( ) (sometimes erroneously spelled Kirchner) was a 17th century German Jesuit scholar who published around 40 works, most notably in the fields of oriental studies, geology and medicine. ...

Johannes Kepler considered volcanoes as conduits for the tears and excrement of the Earth, voiding bitumen, tar and sulfur. Descartes, pronouncing that God had created the Earth in an instant, declared he had done so in three layers; the fiery depths, a layer of water, and the air. Volcanoes, he said, were formed where the rays of the sun pierced the earth. Kepler redirects here. ...

Science wrestled with the ideas of the combustion of pyrite with water, that rock was solidified bitumen, and with notions of rock being formed from water (Neptunism). Of the volcanoes then known, all were near the water, hence the action of the sea upon the land was used to explain volcanism. The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is iron sulfide, FeS2. ... Neptunism is a discredited and obsolete scientific theory of geology proposed by Johan Gottlob Lehmann and Abraham Werner in the later half of the 18th century. ...

Modern volcanology

Seismic observations using seismographs deployed near volcanic areas, watching out for increased seismicity during volcanic events, in particular looking for long period harmonic tremors which signal magma movement through volcanic conduits.[1] Seismographs (in Greek seismos = earthquake and graphein = write) are used by seismologists to record seismic waves. ... Magma is molten rock located beneath the surface of the Earth (or any other terrestrial planet), and which often collects in a magma chamber. ...

Surface deformation monitoring includes the use of geodetic techniques such as leveling, tilt, strain, angle and distance measurements through tiltmeters, total stations and EDMs. This also includes GNSS observations and InSAR.[2][3] Surface deformation indicates magma upwelling: increased magma supply produces bulges in the volcanic center's surface. Also referred to as Deformation Survey. ... GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite System In 1994 in a meeting of the ECAC, a satellite strategy was approved, with as targets: - firstly developing items for an European supplement on the current satellite systems, now called GNSS-1 - secondly designing and defining future satellite systems for civil use (called GNSS-2...

Gas emissions are monitored with equipment such as the Correlation Spectrometer (COSPEC) which analyzes the presence of volcanic gases such as sulfur dioxide. Increased emissions possibly signal an impending volcanic eruption.[1] Volcanic gases include a variety of substances given off by active (or, at times, by dormant) volcanos. ... Sulfur dioxide (or Sulphur dioxide) has the chemical formula SO2. ...

Temperature changes are monitored using thermometers and observing changes in thermal properties of volcanic lakes and vents which may indicate upcoming activity.[4]

Other geophysical techniques (electrical, gravity and magnetic observations) include monitoring fluctuations and sudden change in resistivity, gravity anomalies or magnetic anomaly patterns which may indicate volcano-induced faulting and magma upwelling.[4] ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ...

Stratigraphic analyses includes analyzing tephra and lava deposits and dating these to give volcano eruption patterns, with estimated cycles of intense activity and size of eruptions.[1] Stratigraphy, a branch of geology, studies rock layers and layering (stratification). ... Tephra refers to air-fall material produced by a volcanic eruption regardless of composition or fragment size. ...

Famous volcanologists

See also Category:Volcanologists

For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Gayus Plinius Colonoscopy Caecilius Secundus (63 - ca. ... Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, by François-Hubert Drouais (1727-1775). ... James Hutton, painted by Abner Lowe. ... Deodat de Dolomieu Dieudonné Sylvain Guy Tancrède de Dolomieu usually known as Déodat de Dolomieu (Dolomieu near La Tour-du-Pin, June 23, 1750 - Chateuneuf November 28, 1801) was a French geologist; the rock Dolomite was named after him. ... David A. Johnston, 13 1/2 hours before he was killed in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. ... For the mountain in California, see Mount Saint Helena. ... Katia Krafft (17 April 1942 – 3 June 1991) and her husband, Maurice Krafft ( 25 March 1946 – 3 June 1991) were French vulcanologists who died in a pyroclastic flow on Mt Unzen, in Japan, on June 3, 1991. ... Mount Unzen (雲仙岳) is an active volcano near the city of Shimabara in Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. ... Haroun Tazieff (May 11, 1914-February 6, 1998) was a French vulcanologist and geologist. ... This article is about the political and administrative structures of the French government. ... Jacques-Yves Cousteau (June 11, 1910 - June 25, 1997) was a French naval officer, explorer and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. ...

See also

// Foundations Principles of Geology Author: Charles Lyell Publication data: 1830–1833. ...


  1. ^ a b c Robert Decker and Barbara Decker, Volcanoes, 4th ed., W. H. Freeman, 2005, ISBN 0716789299
  2. ^ Bartel, B., 2002. Magma dynamics at Taal Volcano, Philippines from continuous GPS measurements. Master's Thesis, Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
  3. ^ Galgana et al., 2007, Analysis of crustal deformation in Luzon, Philippines using geodetic observations and earthquake focal mechanisms, Tectonophysics 432 (2007) 63–87 http://ees2.geo.rpi.edu/rob/pdf/2007_galgana_tectono.pdf
  4. ^ a b Peter Francis and Clive Oppenheimer, Volcanoes, Oxford University Press, USA 2003, 2nd ed., ISBN 0199254699

External links

  • Area Vesuvio
  • European Volcanological Society
  • United States Geologic Survey- Volcanic Hazards Program
  • Volcano Live- What is a volcanologist?
  • VolcanoWorld- How to become a volcanologist

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