GEOS 409
Volcanology Fall 2024
Division III

Class Details

Volcanism can be defined as the set of processes by which magma and its associated gasses are transported through the crust and extruded to Earth’s surface and atmosphere. This course will explore the underlying chemistry and physics that govern these processes and give rise to volcanic systems as diverse in appearance and eruptive style as Kilauea, Mount St. Helens, and Yellowstone. Understanding a volcanic system and its associated hazards requires interdisciplinary approaches including field mapping, physical characterization of erupted products, geochemical analysis, and geophysical monitoring. Leveraging insights from these disciplines, we will develop a holistic view of volcanism sensu stricto: how magma is formed, transported, stored, and erupted on Earth. This course will also take a broader perspective recognizing that while individual eruptions may last for just seconds, the sum of volcanism over geologic time is immense. Through a combination of lectures, laboratory experiments, journal articles readings, reflections, and a final project, we will also interrogate the role of volcanoes in plate tectonics, global geochemical cycles, Earth’s habitability, and mass extinctions. This course is in the Solid Earth group for the Geosciences major.
The Class: Format: lecture/laboratory
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 1194
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly lab assignments, journal article presentations and discussions, final project
Prerequisites: One of the following: GEOS 102, GEOS 304, PHYS 131, or CHEM 151, or permission from the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: senior GEOS majors, then junior GEOS majors, then juniors and seniors with a prerequisite
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: GEOS Group C Electives - Solid Earth

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