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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3171 Volcanic Processes

10 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Prof Jurgen Neuberg

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module is intended to provide an overview of volcanic processes. Through a combination of lectures, practical classes and private study, students will:
i) become familiar with the various types of volcanic eruptions and their products;
ii) understand the physical controls on eruptive processes and the transport and deposition of eruption products;
iii) be aware of volcano monitoring and hazard assessment techniques;
iv) have an understanding of the impact of volcanic activity on climate and
v) be aware of the issues related to communication of scientific results in the context of hazard and risk assessment.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
-distinguish various types of volcanic eruptions and their products,
-analyse the scope, strengths and weaknesses of different volcano monitoring techniques,
-make use of simple equations to model physical and chemical magmatic processes,
-describe the impact of volcanic activity on climate,
-explain the fundamental rules in communicating scientific results to decision makers and the public in the context of hazard and risk assessment.


- Introduction: distribution and tectonic settings of active volcanoes; volcanic products and landforms; eruption styles; perception of volcanoes as physical systems.
- Magma movement: dikes and diapirs; strain rates and rheology of magma and country rocks.
- Magma storage and initiation of eruptions.
- Near surface processes: magma ascent and gas exsolution.
- Links between magma rise speeds, rheology, gas content and eruption styles.
- Basaltic eruptions: types, associations with subsurface behaviour, repose times and eruption durations.
- Lava flow emplacement: influence of rheology, cooling and eruption rate.
- Plinian eruptions: airfall deposition, formation of pyroclastic flows and surges, associated hazards.
- Volcano monitoring and eruption prediction.
- Volcanoes and climate.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours74.00
Total Contact hours26.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Reading and exam preparation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Assessed practicals

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PracticalAssessed practical20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/05/2022 14:15:15


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