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)


13 Apr 2020

“When would be the next eruption?” is a recurring question posed to volcanologists. And it is a challenging one to answer as many processes over different timescales are at play before an eruption...

Latest Projects

Volatiles are a key component of volcanic activity. The amount of volatiles, depth of magma storage, and ascent rate likely control the variety of eruption styles.

Chemical and textural zoning in crystals from volcanic rocks can be used to fingerprint the processes that lead to magma storage and eruption, but decoding the crystal record is not straightforward.

Petrological studies can inform of the processes and time scales of magma movement and ascent, and thus allow associating them with monitoring unrest signals, and thus better mitigate volcano hazards.

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 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....



Provost’s Chair in Earth Sciences


AGU 2016 Natural Hazards Focus Group Award for Graduate Research


Springer Thesis Award