Chapter 9 The volcanic history of Furnas Volcano, Sao Miguel, Azores Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/4119-2134-6758-9082-CC

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2015

abstract

  • Furnas is the easternmost of the trachytic active central volcanoes of São Miguel. Unlike the other central volcanoes, Sete Cidades and Fogo, Furnas does not have a substantial edifice built up above sea-level. Although not as dominant as the other two volcanoes, Furnas does, however, have an edifice rising from the basal basaltic lavas exposed on the north coast to around 600 m asl on the northern rim of the main caldera. In common with Sete Cidades and Fogo, Furnas had major trachytic explosive eruptions in its volcanic history that emplaced welded ignimbrites. In the last 5 ka Furnas has had 10 moderately explosive trachytic eruptions of sub-Plinian character; two of these have taken place since the island was settled in the mid-fifteenth century. A future eruption of sub-Plinian magnitude is a major hazard posed by Furnas Volcano. Even when not in eruption, Furnas is a hazardous environment. Its fumarolic fields discharge high levels of CO2 and concentrations in some area of Furnas village present a risk to health; the steep slopes and poorly consolidated volcanic materials are prone to landslides, in particular when triggered by earthquakes or following heavy rain, as was the case in 1997, when landslides caused severe damage and casualties in Ribeira Quente.

associated DCO Team

volume

  • 44

issue

  • 1