São Miguel Island comprises five active volcanic systems, including three central volcanoes with calderas and two basaltic fissure systems. Volcanic eruptions in São Miguel are of basaltic and trachytic nature (s.l.), including Hawaiian, Strombolian, sub-Plinian, Plinian and Vulcanian events, the more explosive ones frequently including hydromagmatic phases. Large Plinian eruptions are related to caldera-forming events that occurred in the past. With reference to the Fogo A stratigraphic marker, a total of 73 individual volcanic eruptions have been identified in the last 5 ka, giving a recurrence interval of 68.5 years. Taking into account that only six events have occurred in historical times, the recurrence interval increases to 95 years and, clearly, a future event is overdue because the most recent eruption occurred in 1652. It should be noted, however, that some volcanic eruptions in the past have occurred in clusters.
The eruptive frequencies of the last 5 ka of activity have been determined for all types of eruptions and related hazards, including lava flows, pyroclastic falls, pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) and lahars. The areas susceptible to volcanic products have been mapped and modelled under different eruptive conditions.