Physical Volcanology

Module code: GL3116

What causes giant explosive eruptions? How do volcanologists figure out how a volcano has behaved in the past, and how do they predict its future? In this module, you'll consider the catastrophic processes at work in volcanoes, from pyroclastic density currents to lahars and avalanches. During small-group workshops at an explosive volcano in the Canary Islands, you'll learn how to use observations and deductive reasoning, including scientific discussion, to confidently reconstruct volcanic events by 'reading the rocks'. With these skills, previous students have gone on to do volcanology research projects at Leicester, leading to volcano-related careers across the world.

Topics covered

  • Physical behaviour of magmas in the upper crust, hydrosphere, and atmosphere
  • Contrasting eruption styles and related surface processes
  • Collapsing volcanoes, evaluation of hazards, and environmental effects
  • Interpreting lavas and pyroclastic successions in terms of eruption, transport, and depositional processes
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