The "Mount Pelee 1902-2002" (MP 2002) is a scientific and social conference organized in commemoration of the 1902 eruption of Mount Pelee on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. This eruption was a major disaster of the beginning of the century in which the city of St Pierre, then the capital of Martinique and the most flourishing city of the Lesser Antilles, was annihilated with its 28000 inhabitants. The event also was a turning point in volcanology owing to the close observations and studies of Alfred Lacroix and other prominent scientists of the time. The conference will revolve around the general theme of explosive volcanism in subduction zones. It should be attended by the foremost international specialists of this branch of earth sciences and will provide special sessions open to the general public. Mount Pelee is the archetype for a particularly violent and destructive eruptive style, the "peean" eruptions, which is the subject of very active ongoing research. It is characterized by the emission of nuees ardentes", a term coined by Alfred Lacroix in 1903 and used internationally. Nuees ardentes are emitted explosively by a growing lava dome and trave down volcano flanks at speeds of hundreds of km/h with devastating effects. Lacroix' Mount Pelee monography has been the starting point of modern Volcanology and was instrumental in the foundation of one of the first volcano observatories in the world. His observations and the careful scrutiny of successive events have since been constantly improved upon with the final objective to provide increasingly accurate forecasts used by civil authorities in protecting populations and their economic assets.
The conference will revolve around several thematic sessions that should yield an up-to-date summary of current scientific research in explosive volcanism: 1/ Eruption dynamics : lavas dames, transitions between eruptive regimes, origin, role of fluids; 2/ Volcanism and Tectonics: subduction zone tectonics, structure of an island arc; 3/ Genesis and evolution of calc-alkaline magmas: sources, magma transfer and residence time, melting and differentiation; 4/ Stability and instability of volcanic edifices: mechanical properties of a volcano edifice, volcano stability, debris avalanches; 5/ Volcano monitoring and eruption forecasting: monitoring methods, eruptive precursors, eruptive plumes and aviation safety.