|This is the cover of GSA Special Paper 498: ‘Understanding Open-Vent Volcanism and Related Hazards.’ – Photos by Nick Varley (top) and Vinicio Bejarnao (bottom).|
Understanding and mitigating volcanic hazards is evolving and is increasingly being managed by scientists and engineers in their home countries. Nevertheless, scientists from countries where volcanic hazards are not as immediate are eager to work with them, especially when introducing new technology, which supports infrastructure development. The lure of working at sites of diverse volcanic activity is strong, and participation in international collaborative work during real volcanic crises is especially valuable to young scientists.
This new Special Paper from The Geological Society of America is the third this decade to focus mainly on Central American volcanic hazards, and its 12 chapters demonstrate the continued maturation of international hazards work. Heavily illustrated with color photos and graphics, the volume covers Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama, and also includes chapters on volcanics in Chile, Mexico, and Italy.
Editors William I. Rose of Michigan Technological University, José Luis Palma of the Universidad de Concepción in Chile, Hugo Delgado Granados of UNAM, and Nick Varley of the Universidad de Colima explain that the studies in this GSA Special Paper focus on “open-vent volcanoes” because they “offer an apparent direct connection with active eruptive processes.” Between eruptions, they note, “open-vent volcanoes are characterized by persistent gas emissions,” and this, combined with their relative quiescence, make them ideal sites for collaborative study.