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Workshop report finalized!
Meeting Format

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

Location: online via Zoom webinar


We welcomed anyone with an interest in volcanic and magmatic systems to attend our Volcanic Systems Modeling Workshop. The meeting series was held virtually throughout the Spring of 2021, in collaboration with the International Volcanology Seminar  

Our goals were 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. We also revisited 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 was convened by Helge Gonnermann (Rice University) and Kyle Anderson (USGS) with a great lineup of outstanding speakers as listed below. The series was divided into four themes. All talks were recorded and are available for offline viewing.


The next outcome will be a summary report and white paper.

Links & Documents

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


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

Webinar Recordings


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.

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 Jan. 2021, 12:00-1:30 (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 Feb. 2021, 12:00-1:30 (CT).

    • Speakers:

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

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

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

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

  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 Mar. 2021, 12:00-1:30 (CT).

    • Speakers:

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

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

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

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

  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.

    • Webinar: Tu 15 & Th 17 Sep. 2020, 10:30-12:00 (CT).

    • Speakers:

      • Joe Dufek (U of Oregon) - "Fluid Dynamics of Volcanic Plumes"

      • Antonio Costa (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia) - "Overview of Various Approaches of Volcanic Plume Modeling"

      • Costanza Bonadonna (U of Geneva) - "Determination of Eruption Source Parameters for Modeling of Volcanic Ash Transport and Deposition"

      • Larry Mastin (USGS)  - "Operational Aspects of Ash Dispersal Modeling"

  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 2021, 12:00-1:30 (CT).

    • Speakers:

      • Hélène Le Mével (Carnegie Institute) - "Modeling volcano deformation"

      • Mary Grace Bato (JPL) - "Towards better model-data fusion frameworks: [Sequential] Data assimilation for Volcano Applications"

      • Michael Poland (USGS) - "The role of a Modelling Collaboratory in forecasting volcanic eruptions and impacts"

      • Paul Segall (Stanford) - "Thoughts on the Power of a Volcano Modeling Collaboratory"

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

Integrative Volcano Modeling and Forecasting

5/4/2021: Hélène Le Mével & Mary Grace Bato

5/6/2021: Michael Poland & Paul Segall

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