Autori: Szakács A., Canon-Tapia E.
Editorial: Canon-Tapia, E. and Szakács, A., Geological Society of America Special Paper 470: What is a Volcano?, 470, p.123-140, 2010.
As a result of the rapid advances in technology experienced during the last half of the twentieth century, methods used to study volcanoes have diversified enormously. Such diversification has created the illusion of a rapid advance in volcanology.Indeed, it is undeniable that the types of information and the amount of data available for studying diverse aspects of volcanoes have increased in the last decades, and are very likely to continue their growth in the near future. All of this information, however, does not seem to have solved many of the fundamental questions related to volcanic processes, not only in our planet, but in other parts of our solar system as well. Actually, the rapid development of new technologies and methods of measurement may have had a negative impact in the development of volcanology as a whole, because the super-specialization favored by the development of new technologies and methods has also limited communication among volcanologists with varying orientations. As a consequence, some of the fundamental problems in volcanology have been obscured by the quest for ever increasing accuracy of specific variables at the expense of deeper understanding of the general context. In this chapter we address this situation by identifying some of the challenging topics that, in our opinion, need to be explored in more detail by the community of volcanologists as a whole. Aspects such as the long-term evolution of composite volcanoes, volcano failure, and the internal structure of volcanoes are included in this list. An effort is made to formulate specific questions that can be solved in each of these sub-branches of volcanology, not by claiming the need for more specialized data, but rather by keeping an eye on the general context in which these problems occur. Thus, the topics examined in this work provide specific examples of how we envisage a solution for the biggest challenge of volcanology: fostering the communication among workers with different specializations with the goal
of solving questions that are of a general nature.
Cuvinte cheie: vulcanologie // volcanology