LSAMP SPRE: Exploring connections between Volcano Crater Shape and Eruption Style
Project Summary
Exploring connections between Volcano Crater Shape and Eruption Style

Studies of volcanic populations in distributed volcanic fields show considerable variations in cone morphology, including variations in planview shape, cone slope, and relative crater size. Amongst the multiple driving factors for cone morphology, the dominant eruption style and the balance between effusive and explosive activity have implications both for cone morphology (especially planview shape) and for hazards assessment.

In order to explore the connections between cone (especially crater) shape and eruption style, this project with combine a survey of historical eruptions of particular cones with more regional studies of volcano populations focusing on cone and crater morphology, geochemical parameters related to eruption style, and geophysical context of the volcanic fields. The survey of historical eruptions will build several case studies in order to assess the strength of connections between cone morphology, eruption style, and the effusion - explosion balance. Such connections are anticipated to include the likelihood that many horseshoe-shaped cones derived from eruptions with strong or even dominant effusive components while ring-shaped cones derived from dominantly-explosive eruptions. Publicly available map, satellite and DEM data will be analyzed to quantify several aspects of shape, including elongation, crater-opening direction, and complexity. Geochemical and geophysical data will be mined from public databases (likely using GeoMapApp) and the published literature.

Student projects could focus on or cover any and all of the following options.
1. Literature Search of Historical Eruptions. Find publications and sets of publications documenting eruption style, eruption products, crater shape, and cone morphology. The focus of this project is on smaller explosive or effusive eruptions that build scoria cones, but the scope of the literature search could be broader. Databases exist documenting larger eruptions and the search should start with these. The smaller eruptions will not be as well documented in the known databases. Build database of information. Where crater and cone shape are not published, use DEM, map, or satellite data to estimate shapes at end of eruption from current shapes.
2. Volcanic Crater shape and DEM/map/satellite data. Identify volcano craters and base outlines using digital map data for regions with historical eruptions -- estimate elongation, crater opening direction if any, and complexity of shape. Compare shape information with volcano chemistry and age estimates from published literature. Collect raw data for further or repeat processing. A recent paper published a mathematical basis for estimating shape complexity from DEM or map contours; applying this may or may not be out of scope depending on student interests and skills.
3. Literature Search of geochemistry and geophysical data. Use GeoMapApp and data incorporated in it (or accessible from it) to establish key geochemical and geophysical parameters for the volcanoes studied in section one.

Applicant must be LSAMP Eligible.
The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program at Rutgers University-New Brunswick is a non-medical science program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program is designed to increase the interest, retention, graduation, and success of students from racial and ethnic groups that are historically underrepresented in non-medical (STEM) fields (i.e. Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/Alaskan, Pacific Islander).

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