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©2019 by MCS RCN


Date and time TBD

Volcanic Systems Workshop Overview

The volcanic systems workshop is the third and final workshop for the Modeling Collaboratory for Subduction (MCS) Research Collaboration Network (RCN). The workshop will focus on the subsurface aspects of volcanic systems: trans-crustal magma transport, magma storage, and magma ascent towards eruption. We invite participation by scientists from the full spectrum of volcanic systems science with interest in the MCS.


Within the framework of the MCS, models of magmatic systems encompass objectives related to advancing our understanding of magmatic arcs, as well as those related to volcanic hazards. Models of volcanic systems have seen significant advances in recent years, exhibiting capabilities of predicting multidisciplinary observations, with the potential to become valuable tools for modeling and forecasting on eruptive time scales. These models are in their early stages of development, and further advances are required, especially in their ability to integrate magma supply and storage. Over longer time periods the deeper parts of the volcanic system – including asthenospheric magma supply, crustal-scale magma transport, storage and differentiation – are of fundamental importance to our understanding of magmatic arcs and also to predictive modeling on the eruptive cycle time scale.


A future MCS could serve as a primary vehicle for enabling intellectual collaborations in subduction-zone science, with the potential of integrating observations with models, and integrating smaller-scale models into broader system-scale models. The MCS could thus improve our ability to model volcanic systems and place them into a broader framework. To this end the workshop will bring together a diverse group of scientists, with the goal of identifying needs and opportunities related to the modeling of volcanic processes at various spatial and temporal scales, and within a future integrative community modeling framework for subduction zones. As such, the workshop is designed to facilitate discussions of modeling efforts and associated observational foundations, rather than code development.

  • Identify the key processes related to magma transport and storage leading to eruptions at different temporal and spatial scales.

  • Identify needs and opportunities among models of different scales and/or processes, and integration between models and observations.

  • Identify needs and opportunities for integration of magmatic system models into subduction zone process models. Problems may range from deep structure of the arc system to the shallower volcanic system.

  • Identify priorities for a magmatic systems component within a future integrative community modeling framework for subduction zones.

  • Outline a community plan for an integrative modeling framework and spell out a vision for the MCS from a magmatic systems perspective.

Themes and Questions
  1.  Overview of the arc-scale volcanic system (designed for early career scientists, but all workshop attendees are welcome to participate):

    • What geological observations and constraints do we have on the architecture, composition, and evolution of magmatic arcs?

    • What are the geophysical constraints on magmatic systems in continental magmatic arcs?

    • What is the current state of the art in understanding the Cascades volcanic arc?

  2. Magma genesis and crustal-scale transport:

    • What controls the compositional diversity of arc magmas?

    • What do we know about crustal-scale magma transport and modeling thereof?

    • What are the interrelations between magma diversity, transport and heat flow?

    • What is the role of volatiles?

  3. Magma storage:

    • What controls magma storage in the crust, and what are the conditions of storage?

    • How do magma chambers evolve, and what do we know about their architecture and dynamics?

    • What are the ‘essential’ magma chamber physics and how do/can we incorporate them into models?

    • How are magma physics best coupled with rock mechanics, volcano-tectonics, and magma and magma chamber deformation?

    • What is the state of the art in reactive transport and multiphase (melt, crystals, volatiles) flow modeling in magma storage processes?

    • What can we learn from thermodynamic / computational petrology models about collaborative model integration?

  4. Eruptive magma ascent:

    • What is the state of the art in magma ascent (conduit) modeling, and what are the future challenges?

    • What are the needs and opportunities for coupling magma storage and eruption models?

    • What are state of the art and future challenges for integrating geophysical and other observations within process-based models? 

Meeting Logistics

Dates: now TBD, see below

Location: now TBD

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided that the workshop will no longer be held in person July 16-19 at Portland State University. Over the coming weeks, we will determine whether to hold the workshop as a remote-only event during the original dates or to postpone to a later date. We still encourage you to apply below if you are potentially interested in the workshop in whatever form it may take.

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

Application will remain open indefinitely.


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


Overview of the Arc-Scale Volcanic System (Introductory Session) |
Tom Sisson (USGS), Matt Pritchard (Cornell Univ.) and Mike Poland (USGS)

Deep Magma Supply, Storage, and Transport |
Emilie Hooft (Univ. of Oregon), Matthew Jackson (Imperial College London), George Bergantz (Univ. of Washington), Madison Myers (Montana State Univ.)

Magma Storage |
Christian Huber (Brown Univ.), Mark Ghiorso (OFM Research), Hélène Le Mével (DTM), Philipp Ruprecht (UNR)

Shallow Magma Transport and Eruption |

Mattia de' Michieli Vitturi (INGV Pisa), Diana Roman (DTM), Eleonora Rivalta (GFZ), Mary Grace Bato (JPL)

Keynote |
Paul Segall (Stanford Univ.)