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Pedrazzi, D., K. Németh, A. Geyer, A. M. Álvarez-Valero, G. Aguirre-Díaz, and S. Bartolini (2017), Historic hydrovolcanism at Deception Island (Antarctica): implications for eruption hazards, Bulletin of Volcanology, 80(1), 11, doi: 10.1007/s00445-017-1186-9.


Deception Island (Antarctica) is the southernmost island of the South Shetland Archipelago in the South Atlantic. Volcanic activity since the eighteenth century, along with the latest volcanic unrest episodes in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, demonstrates that the volcanic system is still active and that future eruptions are likely. Despite its remote location, the South Shetland Islands are an important touristic destination during the austral summer. In addition, they host several research stations and three summer field camps. Deception Island is characterised by a Quaternary caldera system with a post-caldera succession and is considered to be part of an active, dispersed (monogenetic), volcanic field. Historical post-caldera volcanism on Deception Island involves monogenetic small-volume (VEI 2–3) eruptions such forming cones and various types of hydrovolcanic edifices. The scientific stations on the island were destroyed, or severely damaged, during the eruptions in 1967, 1969, and 1970 mainly due to explosive activity triggered by the interaction of rising (or erupting) magma with surface water, shallow groundwater, and ice. We conducted a detailed revision (field petrology and geochemistry) of the historical hydrovolcanic post-caldera eruptions of Deception Island with the aim to understand the dynamics of magma-water interaction, as well as characterise the most likely eruptive scenarios from future eruptions. We specifically focused on the Crimson Hill (estimated age between 1825 and 1829), and Kroner Lake (estimated age between 1829 and 1912) eruptions and 1967, 1969, and 1970 events by describing the eruption mechanisms related to the island’s hydrovolcanic activity. Data suggest that the main hazards posed by volcanism on the island are due to fallout, ballistic blocks and bombs, and subordinate, dilute PDCs. In addition, Deception Island can be divided into five areas of expected activity due to magma-water interaction, providing additional data for correct hazard assessment on the island.

Reference article

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