The objective of the course is to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the physical and chemical processes governing the volcanic activity. Training on analytical and experimental methods and techniques for the study of magma properties and of eruption dynamics will be given.
teacher profile | teaching materials


Third part: Practical teaching which will be conducted throughout the entire duration of the course. The practical teaching will include laboratory activities for the experimental determination of physical-chemical properties of magmas (high temperature experiments and spectroscopic measurements) and numerical exercises aimed at the quantitative determination of the textural parameters of juvenile products (crystallinity, vesicularity, crystal and bubble size distribution) and at the numerical simulation of the conduit and eruptive dynamics.

Core Documentation

First part (Physical and chemical properties of magma)
Encyclopedia of Volcanoes Haraldur Sigurdsson - Academic Press
Origin and Transport of Magma - Volatiles in Magmas (Paul Wallace and Alfred T. Anderson, Jr.)
Physical Properties of Magmas (Frank J. Spera)

Second part (magma dynamics)
Fundamental of Physical Volcanology Elisabeth A. Parfitt and Lionel Wilson - Blackwell publishing
Encyclopedia of Volcanoes Haraldur Sigurdsson - Academic Press
Explosive Volcanism

Reference Bibliography

Annual review of fluid mechanics “The Fluid Mechanics Inside a Volcano” (Helge M. Gonnermann and Michael Manga) Modeling volcanic processes “The Physics and Mathematics of Volcanism” edited by Sarah Fagents Tracy GreggRosaly Lopes - Cambridge publishing Chapter 4 Dynamics of magma ascent in the volcanic conduit (Helge M. Gonnermann and Michael Manga) Chapter 6 Unsteady explosive activity: strombolian eruptions (Mike R. James, Steve J. Lane, and Bruce F. Houghton) Chapter 7 Unsteady explosive activity: vulcanian eruptions (Amanda B. Clarke) Chapter 8 Sustained explosive activity: volcanic eruption columns and hawaiian fountains (Andrew W. Woods) Scientific papers Water speciation in magmas Sowerby and Keppler, 1999 Structural role of water in magmas through spectrscopic studies Xue and Kanzaki, 2008 Anhydrous and hydrous magma viscosity Giordano et al., 2009 Effect of crystals and bubbles on magma viscosity Mader et al., 2013 Pyroclast textures Shea et al., 2010

Type of delivery of the course

In order to acquire the projected skills, the course is organized with theoretical lectures and practical teaching which will be held in the experimental volcanology and petrology lab (EVPlab).


Attendance of theoretical lectures and practical teaching in the experimental volcanology and petrology lab (EVPlab) is mandatory.

Type of evaluation

The exam consists in a oral examination focusing on the entire teaching program.The examination is oriented to verify the overall comprehension of the concepts of the experimental volcanology and the students capability to apply this knowledge to natural cases.