EHaz A consortium for graduate degrees in Earth Hazards studies


Michigan Technological University, Houghton Michigan

GE 5185 (MTU Course number)

enroll at your home university!

Experimental Course on Supervolcanoes

Spring 2006

This is a unique class, with a diversity of lectures and readings from many sources, meant to make the class cover a wide range of advanced topics, where there is little conventional wisdom from textbooks. The Class meets for discussion each wednesday at 4-530 pm in 211 Dow, beginning Jan 11. The discussions will be held online, with students from other universities. The EHaz universities (Michigan Tech, Buffalo, Mc Gill, Waterloo, UNAM and Colima) will be the main participants, but lectures will come from many other sources. There will be guest lectures every week delivered via powerpoint files with narration or notes. The speaker will join the web discussions on Wednesday pm, to allow for questions and discussion. Each student will receive the powerpoint lectures before the discussion, and review them at their own convenience. The powerpoint will be online for the discussion to allow referring to figure material. The software used for teleconference discussions is Marratech, and Michigan Tech has arranged for a web home connection for our class. Marratech can be accessed from any computer linked to the web and is designed for discussions online.


A tentative outline of the class topics follows with a progression from the deep earth to the surface. A rough time schedule is added (we are still filling the lecture schedule!):




Weds 4pm EST

Origin of Arc Magma    reading link  Power Point

NOTE! Discussion Friday Jan 20 at 10:30am Eastern Standard Time

RSJ Sparks

18 Jan*

Supereruptions (a general lecture)

Reading Link  Power Point

Discussion on Wednesday Jan 25 at 10:30 am EST (3:30 pm in England)

Stephen Self

25 Jan

Magma replenishment processes to sustain large silicic systems Reading 1   Reading 2

(NOTE! Reading 2 has changed)  

Power Point (Wiebe)      Power Point (Eichelberger)

Discussion on Wednesday, February 1st at 4 pm Eastern time

Bob Wiebe

John Eichelberger

1 Feb

Volatile contents of large silicic systems Reading 1  Reading 2  Reading 3    Power Point

J Stix

8 Feb

Discussion of previous topics

Bob Wiebe

15 Feb

Caldera development   Power Point

Reading Link 1     Reading Link 2

Peter Lipman

22 Feb

Thermal impact of the development of large silicic magma chambers (batholiths) on the mechanical properties of the crust and the implications for eruption triggering and caldera formation   

 Reading        Power Point

S de Silva

1 Mar

Large volume silicic ignimbrites ("high grade ignimbrites") and large-volume silicic lava flows

Reading       Reading 2     Power Point

M Sheridan


Distal ashes emitted by supervolcano eruptions - plinian vs co-ignimbrite, suspension vs fallout of ash, etc

Read this first!       Reading 1         Reading 2

Power point part 1     Power point part 2

W Rose

15 Mar

Climatic effects of Volcanoes    Reading     Power Point

A Robock

22 Mar

Gas emissions from large silicic magmatic-hydrothermal systems         

(a) during eruptions (b) during quiescence

Reading      Power point 1        Power point 2

J Varekamp

29 Mar

The Role of Fluids in Caldera Unrest   Reading

Power Point

Dave Hill

5 Apr

Megaeruptions from rift volcanoes  Reading 

Stephen Self

12 Apr

Hazards of large magmatic-hydrothermal systems  Read First!    Reading 1   Reading 2   Power point 1    Power point 3

Hugo Delgado

19 Apr

Field trip to Long Valley and Yellowstone - Logistics

Background reading Geology of Yellowstone


26 Apr

Each week the students will read one article, absorb one lecture and participate in one discussion. Students also have an obligation to prepare for the upcoming caldera field trip, this coming May-June. These assignments will come in discussions. The local manager of this class is Karinne Knutsen ( She will manage the web page and post the .pdf and .ppt files for downloading by participants. If you have technical issues getting Marratech to work, see this link.

Bill Rose

John Stix

Michigan Tech Univ

McGill University