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GL3030: VOLCANOLOGY (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04

Course Overview

Volcanology is the study of the physical processes that drive volcanic eruptions, and the products of those eruptions, in relationship to both present-day eruptions and the signatures of those preserved in geological record.  Present-day volcanism is a major natural hazard that can cause catastrophic effects on the environment and humankind.  Understanding of the physical processes which lead to volcanic eruptions and the dispersion of the products of volcanism are the key to monitoring, mitigation and management of volcanic hazards globally. This course will build on basic geological and geographical principles and knowledge to provide a detailed insight into recent developments in our understanding of volcanism on Earth. Geophysical and other remote sensing methods of volcano monitoring will form an integral part of the course. The mitigation and management of volcanic hazards requires communication between scientists and the general public who are at risk, and consequently emphasis will be placed on providing technical and non-technical reports to guide the population at large.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Malcolm J. Hole

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will address:

  1. The distribution distribution, morphology and compositional range of currently active volcanoes from a global perspective
  2. The physical behaviour of lava flows and relationships with composition of lavas
  3. Explosive volcanic eruptions and their products, including mechanisms that cause explosivity
  4. Volcano-related hazards (local, global, environmental)
  5. Management, monitorting and mitigation of volcanic hazards


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 3 Practicals during University weeks 8, 11, 13, 15, 17
  • 2 Practicals during University weeks 8 - 19, 9 - 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 - 19

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

100% In course assessment

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralCreateStudents will be able to contribute to group activities including presentations
FactualUnderstandAn understanding of modern geophysical methods used in remote sensing of volcanoes
FactualUnderstandInterpretation of data from remote sensing devices to monitor active volcanoes
FactualCreateAn ability to produce a technical reports suitable for use by educated and enlighted non-specialists
FactualRememberUnderstanding the physical processes controlling volcanic eruptions and their products
ProceduralCreateAbility to present complex information to the general public.
FactualAnalyseUse of numerical data to produce models for lava behaviour and to produce graphical output for analysis.
ReflectionApplyBe able to critically appraise the validity of numerical models in the solution of real-world problems
ConceptualAnalyseThe ability to use numerical models to make predictions about severity of eruptions
ConceptualEvaluateBeing able and prepared to make critical comments on others work

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