From maars to scoria cones: the enigma of monogenetic volcanic fields [Nemeth K, Haller MJ, Siebe C, (Eds)]. JVGR (2011) 201 (1-4): 1-411.

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Károly Németh, Miguel J. Haller, Claus Siebe

This Special Volume on Maars and Scoria Cones of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research emerged from two international conferences held in 2009. The Third International Maar Conference (3IMC) in Malargüe, Argentina, in April 2009 was the initiative to arrange a special volume in a technical journal similarly to the JVGR Special Volume published on Maar – diatreme volcanism in 2007 from research outputs presented during the Second International Maar Conference in Lajosmizse, Hungary in April 2004. During the preparation of the bid to make arrangements with a technical journal, a conference was held in Morelia, Mexico in late September, early October in 2009 on the occasion of the 250 years anniversary of the Jorullo scoria cone eruption. The Jorullo 250 conference was a well-attended excellent meeting where it became obvious, that current volcanological researches are strongly focused on understanding every aspects of monogenetic volcanism including maars and scoria cones, and the volcanic fields where they appear. In this regard, during the Jorullo 250 conference, an idea emerged to combine the two conferences' potential outputs into a single volume. Also, during the Jorullo 250 meeting it has been decided that the next, Fourth International Maar Conference proposed to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in February 2012, should be a meeting for researchers working in every aspects of monogenetic volcanism, including maars, tuff rings, tuff cones, scoria cones, their volcanic petrology, sedimentology , geomorphology, and usage for climate and environmental studies.
The Jorullo 250 meeting was also the place to justify intensively working toward an arrangement to develop a fully functional commission under the umbrella of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth Interior (IAVCEI). A new commission; Commission on Monogenetic Volcanism (co-lead by Károly Németh, Massey University, New Zealand; Adrian Pittari, Waikato University, New Zealand; and Ian E.M. Smith, Auckland University, New Zealand) has been proposed during the 3IMC in Argentina, and shortly after has been approved by the IAVCEI. This new commission aims to provide an avenue inside IAVCEI to promote and facilitate researches relevant to any aspects of monogenetic volcanism. One of the initial activities of the commission was to arrange a special volume on monogenetic volcanism related subject in a highly regarded technical journal, such as JVGR, collecting research papers from works primarily presented during the 3IMC. During the Jorullo 250 conference however it became evident, that a special volume which would combine papers derived from the 3IMC and Jorullo 250 would serve far better the goal of the newly established IAVCEI commission. As a result, a joint proposal was presented to the JVGR. Due to strict editorial policy, and a very competitive nature to have a special volume accepted by the Journal, it was a great success to have this volume solidified. In this process Prof Joan Marti, the current Secretary General of the IAVCEI and one of the main editors of the JVGR has provided a great support.
The IAVCEI Commission on Monogenetic Volcanism first initial activity was to achieve this special volume on maars and scoria cones. The primary aim of the CMV is planed to link together distant scientific disciplines such as volcanic petrology, geochemsitry, vent distribution studies, probabilistic volcanic hazard studies, vent distribution studies, erosion processes of monogenetic volcanoes, sedimentary records of monogenetic volcanoes and fields, paleontology of maar lakes, geophysical researches on maars, phreatomagmatism, experimental volcanology, scoria cone studies, kimberlite pipe formation, kimberlite eruptions, geochronology of volcanic fields, global climatic predictions on maar lacustrine sediments – just mentioning some key subjects - through researches on monogenetic volcanoes and fields. This incomplete list reflects very well the "bonding" nature of monogenetic volcanism as a research subject capable to link together very diverse disciplines. In this regard, the current JVGR Special Volume on Maars and Scoria Cones a perfect documented representation of this diversity that maar and scoria cone researches can provide in the realm of monogenetic volcanism.
Maars and scoria cones are the most obvious manifestation of monogenetic volcanism in every geo-tectonic and environmental settings. They are generally short-lived volcanoes and reflecting the relative role of the external forces acting on the rising magma upon explosive eruption. In many aspects maars are commonly defined as the wet equivalents of scoria cones inferring that their eruption mechanism is strongly influenced by the external parameters such as the availability of ground and or surface water during the eruption of small-volume magma. The current concept to put these volcanoes side by side to emphasize the internal versus external forcing of the eruption style of a short-lived, small volume, monogenetic volcano reflected well in the research outputs published in this volume. There are ever growing evidences that the final result of monogenetic volcanism, especially those erupting mafic magmas, will reflect strongly the relative roles of these internal versus external parameters. Changes of these parameters will then also be responsible to the temporal changes of eruption styles in relatively short time period in course of the life of the small-volume volcano. The similar concept can be applied to understand the long-term evolution of a volcanic field, where internal parameters (magma production rate over long-term; tectonic regime etc) and external parameters (e.g. climatically forced changes in ground water table level as well as ground and surface water availability) can change over tens of thousands of years, leading to a formation of various individual volcanoes inherit these changes in their volcanic eruptive products, facies architecture, geomorphology, and extra-construct distal primary and secondary sedimentary records.
This current JVGR Special Volume on Maars and Scoria Cones provides a snapshot of the current researches relevant to maars and scoria cones in a broader aspect to demonstrate their relevance to understand monogenetic volcanism. Studies on monogenetic volcanoes were done largely in preparation for the NASA lunar program in the late 1960s early 1970s. These researches were focused on morphological aspects of monogenetic landforms to be able to identify their state of erosion, and main controlling parameters can be connected to their eruption mechanism and resulted landforms. These researches certainly served the off-springs of subsequent planetary geology works and feed back to terrestrial geology works on understanding monogenetic volcanism. A considerable amount of new research energy has been focused on understanding the physics behind the melt (magma) and water interaction in the 1970s and 1980s with an aim to connect those results to "real" products formed by volcanoes. As a culmination of these research efforts in the 1990s a huge step forward been made to apply experimental volcanology methods to understand magma and water interaction which has provided the foundation of data to our current understanding of explosive volcanism involving external water during an eruption. In addition this was the period when sedimentological approaches combined with detailed geochemical methods established some key concept about the architecture of scoria cones, tuff rings, maars and tuff cones. Also an increased number of works has been done in these periods to characterise the distributional pattern of monogenetic volcanic fields and connect them to structural and crustal stratigraphy data. The recognition of volcanic hazards a volcanic field can pose to an ever-growing population has also been recognized increasingly after the 1990s, and some new mathematical methods appeared to develop probabilistic volcanic hazard models for volcanic fields.
The growing interest in understanding monogenetic volcanoes and volcanic fields is demonstrated well in a reference search in major internet-based databases such as Scopus. Looking for keywords such as "maar", "scoria cone" and "monogenetic volcanic" demonstrates well a gradually steadily increasing number of publications over the years (Fig. 1). A similar trend can be seen on the Web of Science data base reflecting an increasing number of publications relevant to monogenetic volcanism and a significant increase in the number of citations such publications got across the published items (Fig. 2). In both analyses it seems that thematic conferences such as the 2IMC in 2004 conferences and special volumes can make their mark on the research activity. This current JVGR Special Volume on Maars and Scoria Cones hopefully will serve the same trend, and will provide a perfect snapshot of our current knowledge on the most common type of volcanism on Earth and other Planets, monogenetic volcanism.
Finally we as Guest Editors wish to express our gratitude to the Journal Reviewers who made a significant impact to elevate the quality of the papers published in this volume. In alphabetic order the Journal Reviewers were:

Amanda Hintz - USA
Bernd Zimanowski – Germany
Boris Behncke – Italy
Brittany Dawn Brand – USA
Carmelo Monaco - Italy
Charles Wood – USA
Christoph Breitkreuz – Germany
Claudia D'Oriano – Italy
Corina Risso – Argentina
Craig M. White – USA
Cristian Suteanu – Canada
Dawnika L Blatter – USA
Dmitri Rouwet - Italy
Donatella de Rita – Italy
Edgardo Cañón-Tapia – USA
Eduardo Llambías – Argentina
Elisabeth Widom – USA
Ernesto A. Bjerg - Argentina
Federico Lucchi – Italy
Francesco Mazzarini – Italy
Georg Buechel – Germany
Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez – Mexico
Gianluca Sottili – Italy
Giday WoldeGabriel – USA
Guido Giordano – Italy
Gustavo Walter Bertotto – Argentina
Henrik Solgevik – Sweden
Jacopo Taddeucci – Italy
James D.L. White - New Zealand
John Cassidy – New Zealand
John L. Smellie – United Kingdom
Jose German Viramonte – Argentina
Jose Luis Macias – Mexico
Julie Rowland – New Zealand
Kazuhiko Kano – Japan
Kurt Goth – Germany
Luis E. Lara - Chile
Marco Brenna – New Zealand
Mark Bishop – Australia
Massimo D'Orazzio - Italy
Mircea Radulian – Romania
Moshe Inbar – Israel
Pierfrancesco Dellino - Italy
Rodrigo del Potro - Costa Rica
Salvatore Giammanco – Italy
Stephan Kurszlaukis – Canada
Wendell A. Duffield – USA
Yana Fedortchouk – Canada
Young Kwan Sohn – South Korea

We hope you will enjoy this volume,
Kind regards

Guest Editors of the JVGR Maars and Scoria Cones Special Volume
Károly Németh, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Miguel J. Haller, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Claus Siebe, Mexico City, Mexico

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Karoly Nemeth (2011), "From maars to scoria cones: the enigma of monogenetic volcanic fields [Nemeth K, Haller MJ, Siebe C, (Eds)]. JVGR (2011) 201 (1-4): 1-411. ,"

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