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Instituto de Investigação
em Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos
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Referência Bibliográfica

GASPAR, J.L., GUEST, J.E., SIGVALDASON, G. (1997) - Volcanic prediction and risk mitigation at the Azores archipelago, North Atlantic. IAVCEI97 - General Assembly, WOVO Symposium. Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Janeiro (Comunicação Oral).


The Azores archipelago is located in the North Atlantic where the American, Eurasian and African lithospheric plates meet. The seismic and volcanic activities at the Azores Platform are associated with this complex tectonic setting. Since the middle of the 15th century at least 30 eruptions have occurred in this area the most recent being at Capelinhos, Faial island, 1957-58. Historical eruptions at the Azores have showed a great variety of eruptive styles ranging from hawaiian and strombolian events to more explosive subplinian and plinian phenomena. Surtseyan eruptions have been common offshore while phreatoplinian episodes took place inside some calderas. During repose periods, earthquakes and volcanic gases remain potential hazards. The Terceira island earthquake on the 1st of January 1980 and the death of two people at Graciosa caused by high levels of CO2 accumulating above the floor of a lava cave constitute examples that should be borne in mind.
The Azores University Centre of Volcanology is the local research unit, which is responsible for investigating the volcanic processes of the islands. In this presentation the authors will describe the structure of the centre and the role of its scientific commissions. Monitoring programmes that are in progress will be summarised and the protocols with the Azores Civil Defence for routine and emergency situations will be explained.