Nordvulk summer school on Tephra studies

This Nordic research summer school in Earth Sciences focuses on tephra studies, including:

  1. tephra generation
  2. volcanic plumes and tephra dispersal
  3. application of tephra to study individual eruptions, eruption history and magmatic evolution of volcanic systems
  4. tephrochronology, the use of tephra as time parallel markers horizons or isochrones.

The aims of the course are to:

  • Advance our understanding of the transition from magma to tephra under different external conditions, by exploring the physics of fragmentation mechanisms in different magma types and volcanic activity.
  • Explore the physics of volcanic plumes and look at different models used in tephra studies. These include models that trace tephra distribution and dispersal, models used to estimate sizes of volcanic eruptions from direct observations (e.g. satellite images) and others based on field measurements (using isopach and isopleths maps).
  • Use the unique opportunities for field demonstrations of various types of tephra deposits found in Southern Iceland to advance our understanding of explosive eruptions and their products. Tephra deposits spanning the range from highly silicic plinian deposits, e.g. the major marker tephra layers from Hekla volcano, to intermediate deposits, such as the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull tephra, and phreatomagmatic basaltic tephra deposits, from the ice-covered Katla volcanic system, are easily accessible. By looking at the deposit type, distribution and characteristics it is possible to learn a great deal about the behaviour and development of the eruption forming it.
  • Bring together the state of the art knowledge and advances in application of tephra as time parallel marker horizons in terrestrial, lacustrine, marine and glacial environments. Tephrochronology is evolving fast and new techniques for detection and identification of tephra are being developed.
  • Honour the memory of the 100th anniversary of late professor Sigurdur Thorarinsson who developed the fundamental principles of tephrochronology.
Facts about the project
Project leader

Bergrun Oladottir, University of Iceland, Iceland