27 people from 25 countries have participated in the first edition of the International Field Course on Physical Volcanology 2021. United Kingdom, Brazil, Costa Rica, Spain, United States, Czech Republic, Chile, Belgium, New Zealand, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Colombia are some of the countries. The training, organised by the Geosciences Barcelona (GEO3BCN-CSIC) researcher, Joan Martí, and the pre-doctoral researchers Olaya Dorado and Marta López-Saavedra, was held on the island of Tenerife from 14 to 21 March.
For six days, the participants travelled around the Canary Island to learn about the different volcanic deposits and their importance in the interpretation of both the processes and the evolution of volcanic systems. "It is a privilege to be able to organise and carry out a course in a place like Tenerife, with spectacular outcrops," said López-Saavedra.
"Participating in the organisation of this course has been a very enriching experience, both professionally and personally", says Dorado, adding that "it is a luxury to be able to share experiences with people from such different backgrounds".
The aim of the course, organised as an activity of the IAVCEI commission in Volcanic Geology, was to visit the different parts of the island including its ancient shield volcano, the precaldera buildings and the active volcanic system of the Teide and Pico Viejo stratovolcanoes. For López-Saavedra, "this course has not only served to train students in physical volcanology, but has also brought together people from different countries and fields within the Earth Sciences, allowing them to learn from each other".
The organisers agree that this first edition was very well received and hope to hold the course again in 2023. "We are very proud of the good feedback we received from the participants, especially considering that it was the first edition. We will definitely repeat next year," Dorado said.
On the first day of the training, the students visited the oldest parts of the island, the Anaga area, where they found rocks from the ancient shield volcano that was formed in the early stages of the island's growth. In addition, they visited the maar of Montaña Pelada, where they observed the typical deposits of a hydromagmatic eruption.
The next three days focused on the study of the Cañadas building. During a whole day they visited the Roques de García, where the morphology of the western part of the caldera and the pyroclastic successions and proximal volcanic intrusions can be seen.
The following day was reserved for a 16 km route through Siete Cañadas, where the central and eastern sectors of the caldera and its deposits are located. Finally, the participants travelled to the south of Tenerife to study the distal deposits of the Las Cañadas edifice, also known as Bandas del Sur. Several outcrops with different types of pyroclastic deposits from explosive eruptions and complex stratigraphic relationships were studied and interpreted.
On the penultimate day, the students took the cable car up to Teide to get a panoramic view of the Caldera de las Cañadas, the Pico Viejo volcano and other morphologies of the island's evolution. The day was used to visit the landslide valleys of La Orotava and the famous outcrop of La Tarta, where the interactions between basaltic and phonolitic volcanism can be seen.
Finally, they visited the outcrops belonging to the rift zone of Santiago del Teide along a hiking route from the viewpoint of Narices del Teide to the monogenetic volcanic cone of Samara. The students observed lava flows, cinder cones and strombolian deposits from basaltic volcanism.