Research Topic

Volcanic Lake Dynamics and Related Hazards

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About this Research Topic

Volcanic lakes are formed when a volcano-hydrothermal system, manifested in the liquid phase, intersects with the Earth’s surface. In poetry this would sound like: volcanic lakes are "blue windows" into the “lymphatic system” of volcanoes. Volcanic eruptions are ideal to create depressions (maars, calderas, ...

Volcanic lakes are formed when a volcano-hydrothermal system, manifested in the liquid phase, intersects with the Earth’s surface. In poetry this would sound like: volcanic lakes are "blue windows" into the “lymphatic system” of volcanoes. Volcanic eruptions are ideal to create depressions (maars, calderas, craters) that, filled with water, function as the lake basins. Volcanic lakes are characterized by one crater, or by a multitude of nested craters created during one volcanic eruption period. These various craters are then filled with water and sometimes hidden at the bottom of a larger lake. Volcanic lakes topping active magmatic-hydrothermal systems are intrinsically more prone to specific, potentially hazardous volcanic events, such as phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions, lahars and limnic gas bursts. Considering crater lakes as the surface manifestation of magmatic-hydrothermal systems, unravelling precursory signals for lake breaching eruptions, and translating them for non-lake bearing volcanoes stresses the key role for future volcano research: the quest for timely phreatic eruption forecasts, a hot topic in modern volcanology.

The engine behind lake related hazards is magmatic degassing, a process that will be decelerated to more or less extent by the interaction between rising magmatic gas and hot vapor, and the lake water. This braking effect will be witnessed by physical and chemical signals that can be detected at the surface (e.g. scrubbing of gases, condensation of vapor, CO2 storage due to hydrostatic loading, bubble dissolution along gas rise, fluid migrations). This Research Topic welcomes contributions that deal with volcanic lakes, regardless of their state of activity, applying geophysics, seismology, geochemistry, geology, sedimentology, hydrology, hydrogeology, limnology, ecology, macro- and microbiology, numerical modeling or multi-disciplinary combinations of these research fields, with the scope to unravel the connection, in time and space, between the lake and the underlying volcano, or the lake and its surrounding human and natural environment.


Keywords: Volcano crater lakes, fluid geochemistry, geophysics, phreatic eruption forecasting, volcano monitoring


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