1. How is the Big Idea supported by science?
2. What are the weaknesses of it?
Unfortunately, magma’s study is impossible. Specialist has to find solutions to study rests of magma as lavas to deduct all magma’s properties and the earth’s organization. No direct observation is available. Lavas are altered and degassed, magma’s chamber crystallization is issued from the fractionated crystallization and lava lakes are degassed too. So it is very hard to find exactly magma properties. Best sample of magma that we can find is inclusions in magmatic crystals. It is supposed that is the original compositions of the magma but some problems are not resolved yet. Scientists have to do lots of hypothesis to answer questions about magma and roots.
3. What are the key basic observations?
For this idea, field observations are very difficult to find. Only residual magma chamber crystallizations are direct samples from inside the earth. The understanding of the capitalization process is very important because it is just one part of the composition of the magma solidification to make crystals. Some other clue can be found in crystallization of other minerals in lava flow or volcanic rocks.
– Some other observations have some results on this topic. The seismic help to know the structure of the earth. The time for P and S waves to go at different point in the surface of the earth depends upon the composition and the structure of the Earth. No direct observations can be found but lots of models are proposed to find the best way to explain results.
– The interferometry can detect the ground movement when magma rises to the surface. This kind of studies can lead to good model for the structure and the functioning of the earth.
4. What are the implications of the idea?
This study is interesting to understand correctly the functioning of volcanoes. This is very important to find some triggers of eruptions and some previsions. Thanks to our understanding of the Earth now, it is possible to predict some eruption. Unfortunately it is not precise, we can only say that an eruption will may happen in some days, weeks or years. By opposition to meteorology where the prediction is very good and alerts can be started on time, in volcanology this prediction is not sufficiently precise to save lots of lives.
5. What are misconceptions associated with it?
6. What science is needed to clarify this?
Nowadays, this idea is not really well known. We have an idea about what happens inside the Earth and the geometry of a volcano, but this idea is very simple. All method we have to study this part are not enough used and developed to be precise. Some studies show that our idea is very basic and the reality is more complex than models we have now. The aim now is to be more precise to complete and correct our currently models in order to have more precise idea and to better understand how work volcanoes.
7. Who are the vulcanologist working on this now?
This domain of Volcanology is very large and lots of scientists are interested by this question. There are lots of way to add clues in this topic.
Some vulcanologist are interested in structural geology. They try to understand the topography of volcanoes with respect to earth’s motions. There are some relations between the type of magma, its composition, and the type of volcano.
– Petrologists and geochimists are more interested by the composition and the crystallization of this magma. Lavas’ studies can indicate some mechanisms in the magma chamber and during the eruption. Types of crystals and its organization can inform about the type and the composition of the magma.
– Now, a rather new approach of this domain is the satellite image treatment. Since few years, thanks to very precise global images, researchers detect show some very small vertical displacements. These tiny variations indicate a variation inside the Earth. Usually for volcano it is the filling of the magma chamber.
8. What are some key papers to read?
9. What are the science areas outside of volcanology that should help guide the work?
The main other science area which help a lot to answer this question are all computer domains with development of new programs and satellite domain...