The Oriol de Bolòs grant will investigate the absolute age of the Montolivet and Rocanegra volcanoes

The Oriol de Bolós Natural Science Grant 2023 has been awarded to Dario Pedrazzi for a study entitled Absolute age and volcanological characterization of two of the youngest possible volcanoes in La Garrotxa: Montolivet and Rocanegra. The grant is promoted by Olot City Council, through the Crater Space and the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, to promote research in the field of natural sciences in the Garrotxa region.

The project will focus on the Quaternary Volcanic Field of La Garrotxa (CVG), because it is one of the best examples of a monogenetic volcanic field in Europe. But the geological knowledge currently available “is still limited in terms of stratigraphy, eruptive dynamics and the age in absolute values of the volcanism”, according to Pedrazzi. With this new study, it will be possible to obtain more information on two of the possible youngest volcanoes of the CVG: Montolivet and Rocanegra.

It is hypothesized that these two volcanoes are younger than currently believed and this research will be the definitive tool to prove it. The work includes the collection of field data to reconstruct the volcano-stratigraphic records and the sampling of pyroclastic material and lavas. From these samples, subsequent petrographic and geochemical analyses will be carried out to characterize the eruptive products as well as absolute dating by 40Ar/39Ar.

The knowledge produced in this project will serve for a better understanding of the formation and past and future evolution of this volcanic area, which will undoubtedly be useful when implementing volcanic risk management strategies. It will also be relevant for institutions such as the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia and will improve the information offered to the general public in places such as the Espai Cràter or the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park.

Dario Pedrazzi is a researcher at Geosciences Barcelona – CSIC. His research focuses mainly on the study of physical volcanology with a special interest in active volcanism.

The Ernest Lluch Grant for Social and Human Sciences 2023 goes to Cristina Simon Pascual, with the project Leer la ciudad de Olot. Project for research and recovery of the typographic heritage from the resilient signs of the old town, which aims to document, catalog and recover the graphic and typographic memory of the old town of Olot through its most historic and emblematic shop signs.

The winners will receive 4,500 euros for carrying out their studies. The City of Olot Grants have been awarded since 1988 to support local research. You can find all the information here.