2009 Events

June/July, September, November (select month of interest)

Lava flow at Oraefsjokull, Iceland

Lava flow at Oraefsjokull, Iceland. By John Stevenson.

June/July 2009

NORDVULK Summer School on Volcano-Ice Interaction

Laugarvatn, Iceland, 30 June - 9 July 2009

The aim of the summer school is to give students in volcanology, glaciology and related fields a solid introduction to the field of volcano-ice interaction on Earth and other planets. Ice-covered volcanoes are found in many parts of the world and during glaciations a large number of the world's volcanoes had extensive ice cover. It has been suggested that a global ice cover existed about 600 Ma ago indicating that volcano-ice interaction may have been the dominant style of volcanism on land. Volcanism in the Polar Regions very often involves interaction with ice and negative impacts on the stability of ice sheets have been proposed. The interaction of magma and ice is therefore important in many areas and plays a significant role in the geological record and on the planet Mars. Awareness of the hazard caused by eruptions interacting with ice is also crucial as they often cause lahars and jökulhlaups, threatening inhabited areas. The summer school is aimed at responding to the needs of this expanding sub-discipline in volcanology and glaciology. It includes a combination of lectures from leading scientists, presentations from participants, field studies and observations. A strong field component will be an integral part of this summer school.

Topics to be addressed:

• Physics of volcano-ice interaction
• Physics of volcano-ice interaction
• Lithofacies of subglacial basalts and rhyolites
• Landforms of volcano-ice interaction
• Glacier response to volcanic eruptions
• Physical volcanology of volcano-ice interaction
• Applications of geochemical and isotopic techniques to subglacial eruption environments
• Subglacial hydrology, jökulhlaups and lahars
• Volcano-ice interaction hazards
• Volcano-ice interaction on Mars and other planetary bodies
• Volcano-ice interaction in the geological record as a paleoclimate proxy
• Volcano-ice-climate interaction

The venue at Laugarvatn in south Iceland is an ideal place for a summer school of this kind. It is located at the eastern margin of the complex of basaltic hyaloclastite mountains in the Western Volcanic Zone. Many type localities can be easily reached in afternoon trips from Laugarvatn. The last two days will be dedicated to a field excursion through the Eastern Volcanic Zone with its subglacially-formed rhyolitic rocks, basaltic hyaloclastite ridge landscape and the deposits of the spectacular jökulhlaups from the subglacial Katla volcano.

Further details can be found on the web-page of the Nordic Volcanological Center, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland:


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September 2009


Sept 15th to 17th (Tuesday to Thursday) 2009, at University College London, with a thematic volume planned for publication in Phil Trans R Soc Lond.

Convenors/proceedings co-editors are as follows: Richard Betts (Met Office) Chris Kilburn (UCL) Mask Maslin (UCL) Bill McGuire (UCL) David Pyle (Oxford) John Smellie (BAS) David Tappin (BGS)

The meeting will probably be divided into four sessions, one on the 15th, two on the 16th and one on the 17th, with possible titles as follows (these are still being finalised):

SESSION 1: Past climate modulation of geological and geomorphological hazards.

SESSION 2: Feedback effects and climate modification.

SESSION 3: Short time-scale environmental drivers of geological and geomorphological hazards.

SESSION 4: Climate change forcing of geological and geomorphological hazards.

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November 2009

International Workshop on Glacier Hazards, Permafrost Hazards and GLOFs in Mountain Areas: Processes, Assessment, Prevention, Mitigation

10-13 November 2009, Vienna

Registration/Abstracts: 1 April - 31 August 2009.

Workshop Theme:

Cryosphere related hazards pose growing yet often cryptic threats, to human lives and infrastructure in high mountains. Related disasters can kill hundreds of people at once and cause damages on the order of tens of million Euro worldwide annually. A single 100-year disaster can cause over billions of Euro of damage and thousands of deaths.
Global change will further challenge our ability to predict such disasters. Changes in glacier and permafrost equilibrium driven by warming and changes in precipitation patterns are creating hazards in zones hitherto considered safe. At the same time human settlements and activities extend towards danger zones. As a consequence, historical knowledge has become less useful as a guide and needs to be complemented with improved process understanding. In the perspective of rapidly vanishing glaciers and increasingly severe droughts, water resources from glacierized mountains have become of highest importance, and interests of water resource exploitation have to be carefully considered against risk issues. These challenges require integrated analysis based on the most recent technologies and interdisciplinary approaches. Political decision making, prevention and mitigation strategies, and engineering approaches must be adapted to these rapidly changing environmental conditions.

The workshop will bring together scientists, engineers, and officials from governmental and non-governmental institutions involved in decision making related to glacier and permafrost hazards in mountain areas.

The purpose of this workshop is:

• Review and enhance state-of-the-art methods for glacial and permafrost hazard assessments
• Identify current research gaps
• Provide an overview of the current and likely future situation of glacial and permafrost hazards in mountainous regions
• Outline ongoing and expected impacts from climate change

Further details can be found in the First Circular or at:

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