Volcanic Petrology Group - Fidel Costa


The aim of the Volcanic Petrology group is to conduct fundamental research on magmatic processes and rocks from active volcanoes, toward better understanding and forecasting of volcanic eruptions.

Some of our underlying research questions include

  • triggering mechanisms of eruptions
  • storage conditions (P, T, fO2, fH2O, fS2, fCO2) of magmas prior to eruption
  • unraveling the processes that occur in the reservoir and volcanic conduit
  • time scales for all these processes
  • integration of topics #1-4 with monitoring signals (seismicity, deformation, gas chemistry) of active volcanoes
  • numerical modeling of magmatic, and volcanic processes, plus monitoring signals towards predictability of volcanic phenomena

The signature and strength that distinguishes this group from others worldwide is that we focus our research on deciphering the time scales for all of these processes.

Some of our research tools include:

  • Mineralogical and geochemical analyses, in-situ and bulk (techniques: electron microprobe, ion probe, FTIR, XRF, TEM, LA-ICP-MS: These mainly take place at EOS and NTU facilities: We also utilize facilities of our international collaborators.
  • High P and T experiments (phase equilibria and kinetics: in collaboration with colleagues from France and Germany)
  • Dating and geochronology (in collaboration with colleagues from France and USA )
  • Field mapping and stratigraphic studies of eruption sequences (other EOS Volcano group members and colleagues from PHIVOLCS and CVI)
  • Numerical modeling (FD, FEM; EOS and in collaboration with colleagues from Spain and USA)

Latest Projects

Mayon Volcano (c) Danikko Rivera

Using an approach that integrates geochemistry, mineralogy, numerical modelling, and physical models, this project aims to improve open-vent volcano forecasts in Southeast Asia.

The petrology and textures of three historic eruptions of Merapi in 1872, 1942 and 1961 are compared to that of the 2006 and 2010 eruptions in order to shed light on the processes that control eruption magnitude. It appears that controls on...

The team uses micro and nano-analytical techniques, thermodynamics, and kinetic models to reconstruct the plumbing system and produce a time series of magmatic events leading to eruptions.

In this project we aim to combine new statistical tools based on pattern recognition with simple thermodynamic models to understand the crystal zoning patterns and thus unravel the processes that drive eruptions at open vent volcano like Mayon....