Geosciences for risk and environment management
Study-unit Code
Geosciences for environmental sustainability
Francesco Frondini
  • Francesco Frondini
  • 52 ore - Francesco Frondini
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Physical and chemical characteristics of magmas. Uprise of magmas. Magma chambers. Effusive and explosive volcanic eruptions. Pyroclastic products Volcano morphologies. Volcanism and the environment. Volcanic hazard. Recent and active volcanism in Italy.
Reference texts
- R.V. Fischer and H.U. Schmincke (1984) Pyroclastic rocks

-R.A. F. Cas and J.V. Wright (1986) Vulcanic successions

- J. Mcphie M. Doyle & R. Allen Volcanic Textures

- Sigmursson et., all (1999-2015) Encyclopedia of Volcanoes, 1st/2nd Edition

- Timothy H. Druitt,B. Peter Kokelaar The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 1995 ..., Edizione 21

- R. Scandone e L. Giacomelli. Vulcanologia. Liguori Editore (2004)

And notes given by the professor
Educational objectives
The main objective of this course is to provide the essential tools to properly describe the different types of rocks and understand the petrogenetic mechanisms and their connection with plate tectonics of the planet Earth.

The main knowledge gained will be:
- Knowledge of the mechanisms of formation of magmas within the Earth;
- Understanding the mechanisms of deposition of volcanic rocks
- Knowledge of the systems of classification of magmatic rocks
- Knowledge of the physics of igneus rocks;
- Knowledge of the main types of volcanisms
- Knowledge of the common components, texture and structures in volcanic deposits
- Knowledge of lava, syn-volcanic intrusions and related volcanoclastic deposits
- Knowledge of pyroclastic, resediments volcanoclastic and volcanogenic sedimetary deposits.
- Knowledge of processes that cat during the formation of seconday volcanic deposits.
The main skills (i.e. the ability to apply acquired knowledge) will be:
- Classifying igneous in the field and under the microscope
- Be able to reconise a volcanic deposits and correlate it, to the volcanisms.
- Knowing how to connect the different types of igneous and the different geodynamic settings.
In order to understand and know how to apply the information and techniques described within the course are necessary basic knowledge of mineralogy, petrograpy, and geochemistry . The knowledge of these disciplines is a prerequisite for the student planning to follow the course with profit.
Teaching methods
Lessons and possible field trips
Learning verification modality
Oral Examination

The oral exam consists in a discussion lasting about 30 minutes aimed at ascertaining the level of knowledge and understanding achieved by students on the theoretical and methodological topics reported in the program.

The oral exam will also test the ability of communication of the students as well as the use of correct terminology and language and autonomous organization of the discussion on the topics of the program.
Extended program
Physical properties of magmas. Liquidus and Solidus temperature. Viscosity, density, thermal conductivity, yield-strength, glass transition. Newtonian and non-Newtonian liquids. Relationships between, chemical and physical properties of magmas. Volatile components of magmas. Solubility of H2O and CO2 in magmas.
Behavior of volatile components during genesis and evolution of magmas. Effects of volatile components on the physical properties of magmas. Chemical and physical properties of magmas and structure of silicate melts. Ascent of magmas. Ascent of magmas in continuous and brittle porous medium. Time-scale of magma scent. Geometry and size of intrusive bodies. Dikes, sill, plutons. Magma chambers. Structure, shape and depth of magma chambers. Cooling and crystallization of magmas in magma chambers. Zoned magma chambers. Ascent of magmas at shallow depths. Separation of fluid phases and magma fragmentation.
Volcanic eruptions. Effusive and explosive eruptions. Lavas and pyroclasts. Magnitude of volcanic eruptions. Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI). Classification of volcanic eruptions. Walker classification. Hawaiian and stombolian aruptions. Vulcanian, plinian, ultra-plinian and phreato-plinian eruptions. Structure and size of eruptive columns. Surtseyan eruptions. Water-magma interaction. Sub-sea and sub-glacial eruptions. Nature and size of major historical volcanic eruptions. Pyroclastic products. Classification of pyroclastic products. Pyroclastic fall deposits: structure, volumes, dispersion. Pyroclastic surges and surge deposits: structure, volumes, dispersion. Pyroclatic flow deposits and ignimbrites: structure, volumes, dispersion. Lahar deposits: origin and transport. Structure and distribution of lahar deposits. Debris flows: size, origin, transport.
Volcanic morphologies. Monogenic and polygenic morphologies. Domes, lava flows, scoria cones, tuff rings, tuff cones. Pyroclatic and lava plateau, shield volcanoes and strato-volcanoes. Craters, maar, calderas, volcano-tectonic depressions.
Volcanism, natural resources and environment. Geothermal systems. Geothermal energy. Mineral deposits and volcanism.
Volcanic hazard. Types of volcanic hazard and relative mitigation strategies. Environmental effects of volcanism. Monitoring of active volcanic systems.
Condividi su