Exploring Vulcan’s Forge

Graduate scientist Vittorio Zanon, from the University of Perugia, has been examining the explosive past of Vulcan’s forge. Contrary to the belief of Trekologists, Vulcan’s Forge is not a canyon on the planet Vulcan.

Vulcan's Forge, the mythical site of the forge of the Roman god Vulcan, can be found on the island of Vulcano, in Italy. This island in the Aeolian archipelago was formed from an active volcano and it is from here we get the word volcano.

Vulcan's Forge: part of Italy's explosive past

The primary objectives of volcanology are to explore the internal structure of active volcanoes and understand their behaviour. Zanon and the team used a Linkam THMS600 heating stage to learn about the journey of the magma from the centre of the earth to the surface and studied nearly 800 samples of erupted material. The team could then learn about the depth, composition and residence time of magma at these different depths in the earth - crucial for monitoring strategies and forecasting eruptions.

Scientists are trying to understand why the magma sometimes halts in reservoirs beneath the surface during its upward journey - prior to eruption - and how the magma behaves while it's there.

With a better understanding how volcanoes work, scientists have a better chance of predicting future eruptions.

Linkam would like to thank Vittorio Zanon for telling us about his fascinating research.    

By Caroline Feltham