American Geophysical Union (AGU) Chapman Conference on Hawaiian Volcanoes: From Source to Surface

Start Date: 
Monday, August 20, 2012
End Date: 
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Location: Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA


Convenors: Michael Poland (, Paul Okubo (, Ken Hon (

In 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will mark the Centennial of its founding. This occasion provides an opportunity to review the state-of-the-art in understanding of how Hawaiian volcanoes work and to assess the most important problems requiring future research. The "Hawaiian Volcanoes: From Source to Surface" Chapman Conference will include both invited and contributed talks, as well as contributed posters. Topical sessions will be organized to follow a packet of magma from its point of origin to the surface, with day-long discussions devoted to (1) magma origin and ascent; (2) processes and consequences associated with magma accumulation and transport; (3) volcanic eruptions and degassing; and (4) new research directions and emerging technologies related to how Hawaiian volcanoes work, and how research in Hawai'i can be used to elucidate processes occurring elsewhere on Earth and other planets (and vice versa).

Specific conference objectives are to:

  • establish the state of current knowledge of Hawaiian volcanism across multiple disciplines and processes
  • explore how a better understanding of Hawaiian volcanoes can be applied to volcanoes elsewhere on Earth and other planets, and vice versa
  • identify the most important questions that should be the focus for future research into how Hawaiian volcanoes work
  • provide a multidisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas and new technologies/methodologies
  • stimulate the formation of multidisciplinary collaborations that will address key research questions
  • facilitate transfer of knowledge between scientists in different disciplines and career levels

In addition, conference attendees will be invited to contribute to a planned AGU monograph on Hawaiian volcanism that should serve as a resource for researchers for years to come.

Format and Schedule

The meeting will span five days, with Wednesday being reserved for field trips to various locations on the Island of Hawai'i (see below). Each meeting day will include morning invited plenary talks, early afternoon contributed plenary talks, afternoon panel discussion followed by a keynote address, and evening poster viewing (following a late afternoon break). The meeting format is designed to maximize scientific discussion by providing numerous methods for attendees to engage one another. The four meeting days will each be devoted to a different session topic:

  1. Magma origin and ascent
  2. Magma accumulation and transport, and related processes
  3. Volcanic eruption and degassing
  4. Current and future research in Hawaiian volcanism

Field Trip

Wednesday will include a field trip to locations of geologic interest on the Island of Hawaii. Because over 100 attendees are expected at the conference, three different field trips will be offered, with attendees choosing their preferred trip(s) upon registration and being assigned to trips on a first-come first-served basis. The three trips will include:

  1. Overview of Kilauea Volcano and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
  2. Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea from the Saddle Road
  3. Volcanic and earthquake features of the Kona Coast

Fields of Interest

The meeting is intended to be of interest to scientists who study any aspect of Hawaiian or similar volcanoes (for example, Etna, Piton de la Fournaise, Iceland, Galapagos, etc.). In particular, the conference should be of special interest to geoscientists who study mantle geochemistry/physics/dynamics; mantle plumes and hotspots; magma ascent, storage and transport; ocean island evolution; and volcanic eruptions and degassing.

Hawaii, USA