cod. 1007737

Academic year 2020/21
3° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Geochimica e vulcanologia (GEO/08)
Ambito mineralogico-petrografico-geochimico
Type of training activity
72 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The student will have to: 1- have and be able to use the mineralogical, petrographic and geochemical knowledge necessary for the recognition of rocks, 2- learn the descriptive skills of volcanic rocks at the scale of the macroscopic sample and the outcrop in the countryside, 3- develop descriptive autonomy and logical-deductive skills to achieve independence during field activities.


Knowledge learned in the courses of Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Petrography

Course unit content

The course contents are represented by 1- Distribution of volcanism with respect to global tectonics 2- Chemical and physical characteristics of magmas, 3- Volcanic morphologies, 4- Eruptive styles of effusive and explosive eruptions, 5- The volcanic risk associated with the types of eruptions , 6- Description and recognition of volcanic products at the scale of the macroscopic sample and of the outcrop in the field.

Full programme

1.Distribution of volcanic activity in relation to tectonics. Volcanoes of divergent margins (lithosphere with oceanic crust, lithosphere with continental crust). Volcanoes of convergent margins (subduction under oceanic crust, subduction under continental crust). Intraplate volcanoes (in oceanic and continental environment). The Italian volcanic provinces.
2. The magma
Genesis and processes of ascent of the magma from the deep mantle and in the crust. Main physical and chemical characteristics of magmas.
3. Volcanic eruptions and structures
Effusive eruptions. Central volcanoes and linear volcanoes. Composite volcanoes, monogenic volcanoes, shield volcanoes, domes, calderas, basaltic plateaux. Explosive eruptions; magmatic, phreatomagmatic, and phreatic. Classification of eruptions
4. The products of effusive eruptions
Subaerial and submarine lava flows. Morphologies of lava flows
5. The products of explosive eruptions
Pyroclastic products: classification and genesis
6. Pyroclastic deposits
Fall deposits: transport mechanisms and deposition. Distribution and thickness of the deposits. Structures of the layers. Dimensional parameters. Components.
Pyroclastic flow deposits: types and textural characteristics of deposits. Effects of temperature. Ignimbrites. Post-depositional processes.
Pyroclastic surge deposits. Types and textural characteristics. Sin- and post-depositional structures. Characteristics of the different facies.
7. Vulcanoclastic flows and deposits
Debris flows, hyperconcentrated flows and their genesis. Features of the deposits
8. Volcanic risk
The volcanic risk. Monitoring of active volcanoes: monitoring, seismic, geochemical, geomorphological techniques. Prevention and maps of volcanic risk. Forecasts of eruptions. The sin- and post-eruptive volcanic risk
9. Multi-day field trip


GIACOMELLI L.. & SCANDONE R. : Vulcani e Eruzioni. Pitagora Editrice. Bologna. 2002
CAS R.A.F. & WRIGHT J.V.: Volcanic Successions. Modern and ancient. Allen & Unwin, London 1987.
FISHER R.V. & SCHMINCKE H.U. : Pyroclastic rocks. Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1984.
WILLIAMS H. and MCBIRNEY A.R.: Volcanology. Freeman, Cooper & Co., San Francisco 1979.
MAC DONALD G.A.: Volcanoes. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1972.
SCANDONE R. & GIACOMELLI L. : Vulcanologia. Liguori editore, Napoli 2002
SIGURDSON H. ed. : Encyclopedia of VOLCANOES. Academic Press, 2000
GREEN J; and SHORT N.M. eds.: Volcanic landforms and surface features. Springer-Verlag,1971.

Teaching methods

lectures on basic theoretical topics, exercises with lithology of volcanic rocks and lessons in the field. The teaching material is provided to the student personally or uploaded to Elly after each lesson. It is part of the didactic material uploaded on Elly, a Power Point file representing the virtual whiteboard with all the annotations and graphics developed by the teacher during the lesson

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam with verification of theoretical knowledge, description of macroscopic samples and deduction of the volcanic processes that generated them (normally performed in person or remotely with the Teams platform if necessary). The grade of the oral test (0-30) is communicated immediately at the end of the test itself.

Other information

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