2021 Volcanology

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Earth and Planetary Sciences
Ogawa Yasuo  Kanda Wataru 
Class Format
Lecture /     
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue7-8(S516)  Fri7-8(S516)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

This course outlines volcanoes and volcanic activity, which characterize the Japanese Archipelago, introducing the latest eruption examples and observation examples. This course is comprised of (1)six lectures and a three-day outdoor training session which will be held during the exam period or the summer vacation. The main lecture contents are "Introduction to the Volcanology: volcano and subduction zone", "Volcanic eruptions 1: variety of eruptions", "Volcanic eruptions 2: volcanic ejecta", "Volcanic hazards and risk mitigation", "Surveying volcanoes: structure of a volcano", "Monitoring volcanoes: volcanic activity". The main training contents are "Observation of the lava flow, pyroclastic flow, volcanic ashes, and other geographical features of a volcano", "Collection of the volcanic gases or hot-spring water and its chemical analysis", "Exploration of the underground structure by electrical resistivity measurement".

Student learning outcomes

Students will learn about the volcano and volcanic activity, which characterize the Japanese Archipelago, from lectures and outdoor training. Students will understand the basic knowledge about volcanic eruptions, expected volcanic disasters, and a hazard mitigation system, in order to take an appropriate action when they encounter eruptions. In addition, students will learn about several methods of the volcanic observation to understand the present state of the volcano, and will deepen their understanding of it through the outdoor training.
This course gives the fundamental knowledge about the volcano widely. The contents cover many topics including the origin of volcanoes, eruption styles, volcanic ejecta, and observation methods. Students will learn about disasters caused by volcanic eruptions and the disaster prevention, as a natural disaster. In the outdoor training, students will visit an active volcano and observe volcanic ejecta and geographical feature of a volcano, through which they will experience a live volcano.


volcanic eruption, volcanic activity, volcanic hazard, volcanic observation

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Attendance is taken in each class. To deepen students' understanding, a homework assignment is given for each lecture. Report assignment given for three-day outdoor training.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction to the Volcanology Learn about generation of the magma and the origin of volcanoes
Class 2 Volcanic eruptions 1 Learn the variety of volcanic eruptions and its factors
Class 3 Volcanic eruptions 2 Learn about the volcanic ejecta and its kind
Class 4 Surveying volcanoes Learn about the survey methods of volcanic structure. Examples on several volcanoes are explained.
Class 5 Monitoring volcanoes Learn about the monitoring methods of volcanic activity. Examples on several volcanoes are explained.
Class 6 Volcanic hazards and risk mitigation Understand the disaster caused by volcanic eruptions and learn about structure of volcanic hazard mitigation.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

After each class, the students will have an assignment on the relevant topic of the lecture.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Lecture notes (in Japanese) are provided at the time of every class.
Reference books (in Japanese): 「地球の観測」(岩波講座第4巻)、「火山学Ⅰ,Ⅱ」(古今書院)、「火山噴火と災害」(東京大学出版会)

Assessment criteria and methods

No examination. Two credits will be awarded both with (1) attendance to the lectures (six lectures and each report problem) and with (2) participation to the outdoor trainings.

Related courses

  • LAS.A110 : Earth and Space Sciences, Laboratory and Field Studies (geophysics)
  • LAS.A111 : Earth and Space Sciences, Laboratory and Field Studies (earth materials)
  • EPS.A205 : Introduction to Earth Sciences
  • EPS.A336 : Seismology

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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