Research Topic

Volcanic Islands - A Challenge for Volcanology

About this Research Topic

Volcanic edifices rising from the seafloor represent a large number of the volcanoes on Earth, while only some of them rise above the sea level, forming islands and passing from submarine to subaerial volcanism. Volcanic islands develop in virtually all the geodynamic contexts on Earth, from mid-ocean ridges (Iceland), to intraplate (Hawaii) and volcanic arcs (Aeolian Islands). The erupted products include all the main pristine magmas related to mantle melting anomalies, from MOR basalt to enriched tholeiites and alkali basalts of hot spots, as well as from subduction-related calc-alkaline to shoshonite basalts. All the liquid-descent evolutive degrees are finally represented, from primitive compositions up to strongly evolved rhyolite and trachyte lavas. This implies that the eruptive styles of these volcanoes range consequently from mild effusions to plinian eruptions.

These volcanoes present many characteristics that are often different from on-shore volcanoes. The interface with the sea poses in fact some particular conditions due to the interaction with seawater, both at surface and underground. Large hydrothermal activity easily develops due to circulation of seawater at depth, and consequent interaction with magmatic gases and hot country rocks. The presence of the water and sea erosion also triggers particular instability conditions of the slopes of these volcanic edifices, so that the effects by seismicity and ground deformations can become disastrous. A large number of volcanic islands are in fact intensively inhabited, despite of the limited available lands, thus the common volcanic phenomenologies pose severe hazardous scenarios and require the development of suitable surveillance systems by monitoring seismic and deformative activity, slope instability, volcanic degassing, gas hazard and hydrothermal activity. Moreover, hazardous phenomena specifically due to the presence of seawater, such as submarine eruptions and landslides triggering catastrophic tsunami waves, have to be considered.

With respect to on-shore volcanoes, one of the most important issues to be considered when investigating and monitoring island volcanoes, is that most of the edifice is submerged and the emerged part only constitutes the summit of the volcano. This poses enormous difficulties to scientists, both from a scientific and technological point of view, because the development of monitoring systems at seafloor is a bit more than embryonal. On this ground, such edifices represent one of the most important and interesting challenges for volcanologists and Earth scientists in general.

The aim of this Research Topic is to collect interdisciplinary, latest, high-quality research on volcanic systems located on islands, from the genesis of melts in mantle to their eruption at surface or seafloor in relation to the geodynamic context, the interaction of the volcanic system with seawater from physical and chemical points of views, the peculiar phenomenologies and the deriving pericolosity scenarios. We welcome research from tectonics and structural geology, volcanology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry and geomorphology.

Contributions addressing technical and scientific advances in monitoring these volcanoes, and geophysical and geochemical modelling based on monitored signals will be particularly appreciated.


Keywords: Seismology, Geodesy, Petrology, Geochemistry, Geomorphology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Volcanic edifices rising from the seafloor represent a large number of the volcanoes on Earth, while only some of them rise above the sea level, forming islands and passing from submarine to subaerial volcanism. Volcanic islands develop in virtually all the geodynamic contexts on Earth, from mid-ocean ridges (Iceland), to intraplate (Hawaii) and volcanic arcs (Aeolian Islands). The erupted products include all the main pristine magmas related to mantle melting anomalies, from MOR basalt to enriched tholeiites and alkali basalts of hot spots, as well as from subduction-related calc-alkaline to shoshonite basalts. All the liquid-descent evolutive degrees are finally represented, from primitive compositions up to strongly evolved rhyolite and trachyte lavas. This implies that the eruptive styles of these volcanoes range consequently from mild effusions to plinian eruptions.

These volcanoes present many characteristics that are often different from on-shore volcanoes. The interface with the sea poses in fact some particular conditions due to the interaction with seawater, both at surface and underground. Large hydrothermal activity easily develops due to circulation of seawater at depth, and consequent interaction with magmatic gases and hot country rocks. The presence of the water and sea erosion also triggers particular instability conditions of the slopes of these volcanic edifices, so that the effects by seismicity and ground deformations can become disastrous. A large number of volcanic islands are in fact intensively inhabited, despite of the limited available lands, thus the common volcanic phenomenologies pose severe hazardous scenarios and require the development of suitable surveillance systems by monitoring seismic and deformative activity, slope instability, volcanic degassing, gas hazard and hydrothermal activity. Moreover, hazardous phenomena specifically due to the presence of seawater, such as submarine eruptions and landslides triggering catastrophic tsunami waves, have to be considered.

With respect to on-shore volcanoes, one of the most important issues to be considered when investigating and monitoring island volcanoes, is that most of the edifice is submerged and the emerged part only constitutes the summit of the volcano. This poses enormous difficulties to scientists, both from a scientific and technological point of view, because the development of monitoring systems at seafloor is a bit more than embryonal. On this ground, such edifices represent one of the most important and interesting challenges for volcanologists and Earth scientists in general.

The aim of this Research Topic is to collect interdisciplinary, latest, high-quality research on volcanic systems located on islands, from the genesis of melts in mantle to their eruption at surface or seafloor in relation to the geodynamic context, the interaction of the volcanic system with seawater from physical and chemical points of views, the peculiar phenomenologies and the deriving pericolosity scenarios. We welcome research from tectonics and structural geology, volcanology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry and geomorphology.

Contributions addressing technical and scientific advances in monitoring these volcanoes, and geophysical and geochemical modelling based on monitored signals will be particularly appreciated.


Keywords: Seismology, Geodesy, Petrology, Geochemistry, Geomorphology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

09 February 2021 Abstract
31 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

09 February 2021 Abstract
31 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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