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Volcanic Geology of São Miguel Island (Azores Archipelago)

Product Code: M0044
Series: GSL Memoirs - print copy
Author/Editor: Edited by J.L. Gaspar, J.E. Guest, A.M. Duncan, F.J.A.S. Barriga & D.K. Chester
Publication Date: 12 October 2015
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Memoir 44

The Azores archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean is composed of nine volcanic islands and São Miguel is the largest and most volcanically active. During the past 5000 years several eruptions have taken place on the three active central volcanoes – Sete Cidades, Fogo and Furnas – and in the basaltic fissure systems of Picos and Congro. There is evidence that Furnas was in eruption when the first settlers arrived some time between 1439 and 1443. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there were two explosive sub-Plinian eruptions, Fogo in 1563 and Furnas in 1630. The last eruption on land occurred in the Picos Fissural Volcanic System in 1652, involving the extrusion of lava domes. In 22 chapters, this volume considers the volcanic geology of the island under the headings of geological setting, volcanic history, geological hazards and risk assessment, volcano monitoring and natural resources.

Published online 16/09/2015. Print copies available from 12/10/2015.


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Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-731-6
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 309
Weight: 1.6 kg



Chapter 1 GASPAR, J., GUEST, J. E., DUNCAN, A., CHESTER, D. & BARRIGA, F. Volcanic geology of São Miguel Island (Azores Archipelago): introduction

Geological setting

Chapter 2 MIRANDA, J. M., LUIS, J. F., LOURENC¸ O, N. & FERNANDES, R. M. S. The structure of the Azores Triple Junction: implications for São Miguel Island

Chapter 3 MADEIRA, J., BRUM DA SILVEIRA, A., HIPÓLITO, A. & CARMO, R. Active tectonics in the central and eastern Azores islands along the Eurasia–Nubia boundary: a review

Chapter 4 GASPAR, J. L., QUEIROZ, G., FERREIRA, T., MEDEIROS, A. R., GOULART, C. & MEDEIROS, J. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the Azores region: geodynamic implications from major historical events and instrumental seismicity

Chapter 5 ZANON, V. The magmatism of the Azores islands

Volcanic history

Chapter 6 CARMO, R., MADEIRA, J., FERREIRA, T., QUEIROZ, G. & HIPÓLITO, A. Volcano-tectonic structures of São Miguel Island, Azores

Chapter 7 QUEIROZ, G., GASPAR, J. L., GUEST, J. E., GOMES, A. & ALMEIDA, M. H. Eruptive history and evolution of Sete Cidades Volcano, São Miguel Island, Azores

Chapter 8 WALLENSTEIN, N., DUNCAN, A., GUEST, J. E. & ALMEIDA, M. H. Eruptive history of Fogo Volcano, São Miguel, Azores

Chapter 9 GUEST, J. E., PACHECO, J. M., COLE, P. D., DUNCAN, A. M., WALLENSTEIN, N., QUEIROZ, G., GASPAR, J. L. & FERREIRA, T. The volcanic history of Furnas Volcano, São Miguel, Azores

Chapter 10 FERREIRA, T., GOMES, A., GASPAR, J. L.& GUEST, J. Distribution and significance of basaltic eruptive centres: São Miguel, Azores

Chapter 11 DUNCAN, A. M., GUEST, J. E., WALLENSTEIN, N. & CHESTER, D. K. The older volcanic complexes of São Miguel, Azores: Nordeste and Povoação

Geological hazards and risk assessment

Chapter 12 GASPAR, J. L., GUEST, J. E., QUEIROZ, G., PACHECO, J., PIMENTEL, A., GOMES, A., MARQUES, R., FELPETO, A., FERREIRA, T. & WALLENSTEIN, N. Eruptive frequency and volcanic hazards zonation in São Miguel Island, Azores

Chapter 13 MARQUES, R., AMARAL, P., ARAÚJO, I., GASPAR, J. L. & ZÊZERE, J. L. Landslides on São Miguel Island (Azores): susceptibility analysis and validation of rupture zones using a bivariate GIS-based statistical approach

Chapter 14 VIVEIROS, F., GASPAR, J. L., FERREIRA, T., SILVA, C., MARCOS, M. & HIPÓLITO, A. Mapping of soil CO2 diffuse degassing at São Miguel Island and its public health implications

Chapter 15 SILVA, C., VIVEIROS, F., FERREIRA, T., GASPAR, J. L. & ALLARD, P. Diffuse soil emanations of radon and hazard implications at Furnas Volcano, São Miguel Island (Azores)

Chapter 16 WALLENSTEIN, N., CHESTER, D., COUTINHO, R., DUNCAN, A. & DIBBEN, C. Volcanic hazard vulnerability on São Miguel Island, Azores

Volcano monitoring

Chapter 17  SILVA, R., FERREIRA, T., MEDEIROS, A., CARMO, R., LUIS, R., WALLENSTEIN, N., BEAN, C.& SOUSA, R. Seismic activity on São Miguel Island volcano-tectonic structures (Azores archipelago)

Chapter 18 OKADA, J., SIGMUNDSSON, F., ÓFEIGSSON, B. G., FERREIRA, T. J. L.& RODRIGUES, R. M. M. T. C. Tectonic and volcanic deformation at São Miguel Island, Azores, observed by continuous GPS analysis 2008–13

Chapter 19 CRUZ, J. V., FREIRE, P., COSTA, A., FONTIELA, J., CABRAL, L. & COUTINHO, R. M. Hydrogeochemical characterization of mineral waters in São Miguel Island, Azores

Chapter 20 VIVEIROS, F., FERREIRA, T., SILVA, C., VIEIRA, J. C., GASPAR, J. L., VIRGILI, G. & AMARAL, P. Permanent monitoring of soil CO2 degassing at Furnas and Fogo volcanoes (São Miguel Island, Azores)

Natural resources

Chapter 21 COUTINHO, R., FONTIELA, J., FREIRE, P. & CRUZ, J. V. Hydrogeology of São Miguel Island, Azores: a review

Chapter 22 RANGEL, G., PONTE, C. & FRANCO, A. Use of geothermal resources in the Azores islands: a contribution to the energy self-sufficiency of a remote and isolated region



Linda Fowler BA Hons (Open)

This review featured in OUGS Proceedings vol 3 2017

Volcanic eruptions, landslides, degassing, geothermal energy: there is plenty to capture the reader’s attention in this book.

The Memoir is dedicated to John Edward Guest (1938-2012), a geologist who made a significant contribution to Azorean volcanology, but who, sadly, died during the preparation of this book. His input is evidenced by his co-authorship of four of the 21 papers in the volume.

The book also describes monitoring of seismic activity, hydrogeochemical analysis of mineral waters, and GPS analysis of tectonic and volcanic deformation.

Robert Anderson

Overall, I found this book to be an excellent general resource for the geology, seismicity, seismic hazards, volcanic hazards and related effects for Sao Miguel, as well as a basic resource for the geology of the eastern portion of the Azorean Archipelago.

Featured in Geoscientist Dec 2017/Jan 2018 vol 23

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