Jan - May 2021

online, via Zoom

Meeting Format (updated Nov 2020)

Dates: 26 January - 8 May, 2021, schedule TBD

Location: online via Zoom webinar (link available soon)


The workshop will be divided into five science-centered themes. Each theme will be comprised of two webinars, held during two successive Tuesdays in conjunction with the International Volcanology Seminar, and followed by one online working group meeting. Webinars will be recorded and available for anyone to view at their leisure. In addition, there will be an option to engage and provide input on any aspect of the volcanic systems virtual workshops asynchronously.

Each webinar will be comprised of two science talks plus time for science questions, followed by breakout sessions that are guided by specific questions focused on the MCS (within the context of the given theme). This will give anyone from the volcano community an opportunity for active contribution to the MCS. 


For each theme the working group meeting will be a few days after the second webinar. The working group will be comprised of scientist interested and willing to commit to active participation, with some working group members participating throughout all themes, and others participating in select themes only. The objective of the working group meetings will be to synthesize community input provided under each theme into a written report. The combined thematic reports will then be integrated into a single final MCS Volcanic Systems report.


In summary:

  • 5 themes, each comprised of 2 webinars + 1 working group meeting + asynchronous option to engage

  • 1 summary report per theme.

  • 1 final working group meeting to produce a final integrated MCS Volcanic Systems report.

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



The Volcanic Systems webinars and working group 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.

Science Centered 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.

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


  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.

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


  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.

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


  4. Eruption Plumes

    • 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.

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

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)

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