Understanding POSt-caldera VOLcanic processes in DECeption Island (Antarctica): Implications for assessing future potential volcanic hazards – POSVOLDEC


Probably the most relevant interest for society of the scientific research in volcanology is predicting volcanic eruptions. Obviously if we know where, when and how the volcanic a future eruption will be, the better we will act to save lives and minimize the impact of these natural disasters on infrastructures and the environment. Processes of caldera collapse represent a key scenario on advancing in these aspects as they can promote one of the highest catastrophes in the planet. Deception Island (Antarctica) is an excellent natural laboratory for this purpose as the post-caldera features are recent and well preserved, offering thus fundamental information about the collapse evolution.

This interdisciplinary project proposal pretends to constrain and understand the key factors controlling post-caldera volcanic processes on Deception Island by characterizing the current state of the magmatic system under the island.

Hence, the essential questions that this project plans to elucidate are: how the magma body(ies) formed and evolve toward a particular eruptive style and size?, and, are there any preferred ascent path(s) for the magma ascent and at any frequency?

In order to understand, answer and quantify the effects of the different questions outlined above, the unique characteristics of each process require to be identified. Attempts to face these issues through different disciplinary studies, but separately, result in isolated and less definitive conclusions and solutions. Thus, we need to combine a deep petrologic and geochemical knowledge with previous geophysical studies of the area. As additional novel approach, the obtained dataset will be in turn integrated with the results of remote sensing tasks.

This project will finally be able not only to advance in the frontier knowledge of postcaldera volcanic processes, but also offer invaluable benefits for society related to achieving an efficient reaction against a potential future eruption by improving the awareness of the people living, working and visiting this volcanically active region.