Jan - May 2021

online, via Zoom

You must register separately for the webinars (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and the planning meetings (Friday). The planning meetings are intended for those who wish to participate in active discussions about the future of volcanic systems modeling within the context of the MCS. See below for more information.

Meeting Format

Dates: 26 January - 8 May, 2021, various dates (see below)

Location: online via Zoom webinar (register here)


We invite anyone with an interest in volcanic and magmatic systems to our Volcanic Systems Modeling Workshop. This meeting series is virtual and held throughout the Spring of 2021, in collaboration with the International Volcanology Seminar  

Our goals are to discuss cutting edge volcano science, and to define a vision, characterize needs, and identify opportunities for collaborative science focusing on modeling of the physics of volcanic systems overall, and subduction zones, including within the context of SZ4D, specifically. This workshop is the last major planning effort of the MCS-RCN. We invite broad participation, and hope to revisit some of the themes of our previous Fluids and Megathrust workshops and the Eruption Plumes webinars, exploring ways of enhancing collaborative and integrative approaches for global subduction zone science.

The workshop is convened by Helge Gonnermann (Rice University) and Kyle Anderson (USGS) with a great lineup of outstanding speakers as listed below. The series is divided into four themes, each with Tuesday and Thursday presentations and discussions, and a Friday MCS RCN planning meeting, leading up to a summary report and white paper. All talks will be recorded and will be available for offline viewing, and we will provide for means of asynchronous participation for those not able to attend during the interactive sessions.

Links & Documents

By agreeing to participate in a MCS event, participants agree to abide by the MCS Code of Conduct



The Volcanic Systems webinars and planning meetings are in lieu of the third and final workshop for the Modeling Collaboratory for Subduction (MCS) Research Collaboration Network (RCN). The meetings are designed to address how subduction zone processes relate directly to eruptive processes and inform hazard mitigation efforts on spatial scales from volcanic arcs to individual volcanoes and on timescales of days to thousands of years. In particular, the MCS science themes address how numerical models of subduction zone and volcanic processes can improve our understanding of eruption rates and volumes, intensities and styles of volcanism.


Models of volcanic systems are the 'glue' that links multidisciplinary observations to underlying processes across spatial and temporal scales, thereby enabling prediction. Volcanic systems models are in their early stages of development, with wide-ranging opportunities for advancement and integrative collaboration. Such integration is contingent on the types of collaboration that a future MCS could facilitate for subduction-zone science and perhaps beyond. Such collaboration can encompass cross-disciplinary aspects as well as model and data integration across spatial and temporal scales. To this end the MCS Volcanic Systems webinars and working group meetings will bring together a diverse group of scientists, with the goal of identifying needs and opportunities related to the modeling of volcanic systems at various spatial and temporal scales within a future integrative community modeling framework.


Although the webinars and working group meetings will emphasize subsurface aspects of volcanic systems, we will also discuss subaerial components of volcanic systems, as in the MCS 'Eruption Plumes' webinar. We thus invite participation by colleagues from the full spectrum of volcanic systems science with interest in the MCS.

In summary:

1.   We seek to identify needs and opportunities related to:

  • Collaborative modeling of the key processes of magma transport and storage at different temporal and spatial scales.

  • Integration of models of different scales and/or processes, and between models and observations.

  • Integration of magmatic system models into subduction zone process models, ranging from the deep structure of the arc system to the shallower volcanic system.

2.   Given these opportunities, we then seek to:

  • Identify priorities for a magmatic and volcanic systems component within a future integrative community modeling framework for subduction zones (and possibly beyond).

  • Outline a community plan for an integrative modeling framework and spell out a vision for a magmatic and volcanic systems component of the MCS.

Webinar Dates:

1/26 and 1/28 - 12:00-1:30 (CT)

2/23 and 2/25 - 12:00-1:30 (CT)

3/23 and 3/25 - 12:00-1:30 (CT)

5/4 and 5/6 - 12:00-1:30 (CT)

You must register separately for the webinars (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and the planning meetings (Friday long sessions). The planning meetings are intended for those who wish to participate in active discussions about the future of volcanic systems modeling within the context of the MCS.

Planning Meeting Dates:

1/29 - 12:00-2:30 (CT)

2/26 - 12:00-2:30 (CT)

3/26 - 12:00-2:30 (CT)

5/7 - 12:00-2:30 (CT)

Science Themes​​
  1. Crustal-scale magma transport

    • Needs and opportunities for modeling crustal-scale magma transport processes: multiphase (melt, solid, volatiles) mass transport, differentiation and assimilation, energetics. Integration of observational and experimental endeavors, including plutonic systems, to inform models.

    • Webinar: Tu 26 & Th 28 January, 12:00-1:30 (CT).

    • Planning Meeting: Fri 29 January, 12:00-2:30 (CT).

    • Speakers:

      • Thomas Sisson (USGS) - "An introduction to the crustal structure and dynamics of arc magmatic systems with current issues amenable for modeling"

      • George Bergantz (UW) - "Making Sense of Mush: The Geology, Physics and Chemistry of Magmatic Systems" 

      • Matthew Pritchard (Cornell) - "Advancing geophysical models of crustal scale magma transport: Comparing techniques, volcanoes, and inversion strategies"

      • Matthew Jackson (Imperial College London) - "Melt fraction change and magma differentiation in crustal mush reservoirs:  Insights from mathematical and numerical models"

  2. Magma storage

    • Needs and opportunities for modeling the evolution of magma chambers, their architecture and dynamics. Internal mechanisms that drive chambers toward eruption include recharge, differentiation, rejuvenation, and volatile accumulation. Opportunities and needs for modeling ‘essential’ magma chamber processes and integration with diverse observations. Reactive multiphase (melt, crystals, volatiles) transport and integration with thermodynamic models. Coupling with rock mechanics, volcano-tectonics, and magma and magma chamber deformation. Integration of internal and external mechanisms by which eruptions are initiated.

    • Webinar: Tu 23 & Th 25 February, 12:00-1:30 (CT).

    • Planning Meeting: Fri 26 February, 12:00-2:30 (CT).

    • Speakers:

      • Philipp Ruprecht (U Nevada) - "We ask, the crystal answers: Constraining magma storage systems from the crystal record" - Tuesday

      • Mark Ghiorso (OFM Research) - "Modeling magma storage: A data science perspective" - Tuesday

      • Emilie Hooft (UO) - “Magma storage from a geophysical perspective” - Thursday

      • Christian Huber (Brown) - "Modeling magmatic processes… which model is appropriate for what?" - Thursday

  3. Eruptive magma ascent

    • The state of the art in magma ascent/eruption modeling, remaining challenges and opportunities. Coupling to magma storage and eruption initiation mechanisms. Opportunities and challenges for integrating diverse observations, both precursory and syneruptive, within process-based models. Needs and opportunities for the MCS to support rapid response efforts to emerging events through the CONVERSE initiative.

    • Webinar: Tu 23 & Th 25 March, 12:00-1:30 (CT).

    • Planning Meeting: Fri 26 March, 12:00-2:30 (CT).

    • Speakers:

      • Eleonora Rivalta (GFZ Potsdam) - "Mechanical models of magma transport by diking: Coupling host rock and magma rheology" - Tuesday

      • Diana Roman (Carnegie Institute) - "A seismological perspective on magma ascent" - Tuesday

      • Mattia de' Michieli Vitturi (U Buffalo) - "Numerical modeling of magma ascent in volcanic conduits: equilibrium and disequilibrium" - Thursday

      • Madison Myers (Montana St) - "Rates of Magma Ascent: A Petrological Perspective" - Thursday

  4. Eruption Plumes (past webinars)

    • Overview of eruption plume modeling, fluid dynamics of volcanic plumes, model intercomparison, eruption source parameters derived from tephra deposits, and operational plume modeling. These webinars took place in September 2020 and are available here.

    • Speakers were Costa, Dufek, Mastin and Bonadonna. A report will be forthcoming.​

  5. Integrative volcano modeling and forecasting

    • Linking magma storage, transport, and eruption modeling. Integrating observations with models of volcanic systems with the goal to advance understanding and forecasting. Opportunities and needs for coupling models between disciplines and problems, including the incorporation of volcano system models into their broader subduction zone tectonic context. This theme may touch on aspects of any of the preceding webinars, as well as topics not yet considered.

    • Webinar: Tu 4 & Th 6 May, 12:00-1:30 (CT).

    • Planning Meeting: Fri 7 May, 12:00-2:30 (CT).

    • Speakers: Paul Segall (Stanford), Michael Poland (USGS), Hélène Le Mével (Carnegie Institute), Mary Grace Bato (JPL)

MCS Focused Questions

These questions are not all inclusive. They are meant to catalyze discussion that lead to additional questions and answers.

  • Is there a need for future volcanic systems modeling workshops? What should be the scope, format and frequency?

  • What are the tangible opportunities and needs for coupling models across disciplines and problems?

  • Is there a need for integrative modeling workshops across various aspects of the MCS? What should be the scope, format and frequency?

  • How can a modeling collaboratory best foster collaboration between 'modelers' and 'non-modelers'?

  • What training activities should a modeling collaboratory endeavor to facilitate?

  • To what extent should a modeling collaboratory be a centralized entity as opposed to, for example, a decentralized collaboration / training network? 

  • To what extent and how should an MCS facilitate funding opportunities at the individual PI-level for model development, benchmarking and documentation?

  • How can an MCS best achieve the integration of models resulting from PI-driven research endeavors, while ensuring adequate protection of intellectual property?

  • To what extent should the MCS encompass process-based modeling and data-based modeling?

  • How could the MCS aid in benchmarking and reproducibility of PI-driven model development?

  • Should the MCS facilitate collaboration between Earth scientists and applied mathematicians and how?

  • Should an MCS facilitate code development – and if so how?

  • To what extent should the MCS include inversion and uncertainty quantification?


Helge Gonnermann (Rice Univ.) and Kyle Anderson (USGS)

Webinar Recordings

Crustal-scale magma transport

1/26/2021: Thomas Sisson and George Bergantz

1/28/2021: Matthew Pritchard & Matthew Jackson

Magma Storage

2/23/2021: Philipp Ruprecht and Mark Ghiorso

2/25/2021: Emilie Hooft and Christian Huber

Eruptive Magma Ascent

3/23/2021: Diana Roman and Eleonora Rivalta

3/25/2021: Mattia de' Michieli Vitturi and Madison Myers

Eruption plumes

9/15/20: Joe Dufek and Antonio Costa

9/17/20: Costanza Bonadonna and Larry Mastin


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