The Center of Volcanism is history. rich. educational.
The Volcanism Center is located next to the São Vicente Caves, on the cliff opposite the Ribeira de São Vicente in a charming village on the North Coast of Madeira, at the bottom of the valley, where the formation of the Island began. It combines culture and knowledge with leisure and animation, in a pavilion that allows the 90 visitors to attend, in a pedagogical and playful way, the audiovisual shows that recreate the geological evolution of the caves, the eruption of a volcano and to the simulation of the birth of the Madeira Archipelago.
This space aims to complement the visit to the Caves, explaining them as an example of the geological formation of Madeira, and disseminating technical and scientific information as a center that aggregates this knowledge. The Garden with a predominance of endemic plants, crossed by a series of pedestrian paths, where the forest elements and the water courses harmonize in harmony, seek to pay homage to water and life.
Consisting of 3 rooms and an elevator simulator, it has capacity for about 90 people simultaneously, with a size of 12 meters long by 7 meters high and 10 wide.
In the first room of the Pavilion - Volcanoes the Dragons of Earth, there is an exhibition composed of illustrative and informative panels, with a view to the dissemination and appreciation of geological processes, volcanology celebrations, types of volcanic eruptions, of volcanic activity through a world map, myths, beliefs, the power of creation and destruction of a volcano.
Knowing about the Origin and Evolution of the Solar System and Earth is only possible if we cross the Time Tunnel located in the Pavilion, where it explains all this process occurred about 4550 million years ago. This Tunnel takes us to a second room where the Origin and Evolution of the Madeira Archipelago is particularly well evidenced, where it provides the realization of an audiovisual show lasting 10 minutes, which, in a pedagogical and playful way, explains the way of the birth of the Earth, namely the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens, resulting from the recreation of volcanic eruptions. The show aims to be complementary to the visit of the Caves, explaining them as an example of the geology of Madeira.
The long evolutionary process, which gave rise to the extraordinary variety of living beings that make up the flora and fauna of Madeira that today people, reinforces the natural attractiveness and ecological value of this Earth is demonstrated through panels duly elaborated to the detail, where it is possible to observe the native gemstones, such as the Trocace pigeon (Columba trocaz H.), Bis-bis (Regulus ignicapillus madeirensis H.), Tentille (Fringilla coelebs madeirensis S.), the slug (Phaenacolimax madeirovitrina ruivensis), a terrestrial gastropod mollusc uses its tongue to cut the food, the lizard (Lacerta dugesii M.) and even endemic species of insects characterize an atypical island ecosystem and therefore even more interesting. In relation to the flora, only the predominant Laurissilva trees, such as Loureiro (Laurus azorica S.), Til (Ocotea foetens Ait.), Vinhático (Persea indica L.) and Barbusano (Appollonias barbujana ssp. Barbujana Cav.). In short, it is not only a natural treasure of great ecological value, but also a beautiful and amazing mosaic where life takes forms that are nowhere to be found anywhere else in the world and its socio-economic importance, either in the island's hydrological regime as well as its landscape enhancement, have already received international recognition, resulting in the honorable classifications of the Council of Europe's Biogenic Reserve in 1992 and World Natural Heritage under the aegis UNESCO in 1999.
The visit to the Pavilion of Volcanism ends with a well-designed audiovisual projection, where all the necessary steps for the understanding of the Caves themselves are recreated. The recreation of this spectacular and modern projection contemplates the following moments: the Big Bang; the Formation of the Universe; the Formation of the Earth; the Oceans; the Volcanoes; The island; the water; the living beings, the life and the wood of today.
The visit to the Volcanic Center ends with a view of the large garden of endemic plants.
In relation to the famous volcanology, Gaspar Frutuoso was considered one of the first volcanologists of the civilized world in century XVI, already in century XX, were Zbyzewski, Jose Agostinho, Mendonça Days, etc. However, volcanoes have always fascinated the great Greek philosophers such as Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Empedocles and Pliny, who are considered the Fathers of Volcanology. The German Jesuit Kircher, Déodat de Gratet de Dolomieu and Lord Hamilton, were considered the precursors of Volcanology in the eighteenth century and the French volcanologist Alfred Lacroix in the twentieth century for investigating the eruption on the Pelada Mountain in Martinique, which caused a "cloud ardent "devastating. Knowing about contemporary volcanologists (Haroun Tazzief and French couple Maurice and Katia Krafft) is also possible in this room.
The constitution and types of volcanic eruptions such as Hawaiian, Strombolian, Plinian and Vulcanian; volcanos as sources of life, historical eruptions (Pompeii on the twenty-fourth of August of 1979, Pinatubo in the Philippines on the fifteenth of June of 1991, among others); the power of creation and destruction of volcanoes; the health benefits to man (thermal springs) and as a source of energy (Ribeira Grande Central in São Miguel); in the production of geoproducts (sulfur, borax, igneous rocks and precious stones like diamond, quartz, feldspar and olivine) and the phenomenon of the Capelinhos Volcano on Faial Island, the 27 of September of 1957, are themes that are very well evidenced in this room. This room unveils and allows to see up close all the world volcanic activity represented in a world map. The mythology and beliefs of these phenomena are also themes that are not lacking in this visit such as the Hekla considered the Hell's Gate in Iceland; the Hephaestus, God of Fire in Greece; The Skin, the Goddess of Fire in Hawaii; the Lengai, the Owner of Life and Death in Africa; the Punishment of Bromo in Indonesia and the Fujiama, the Protector in Japan. To see and to know the material material by a volcano close up is also possible in this room, with the exposition of ashes, lapilli, pumice, lava stranded, columnar disjunction, obsidian, etc.
Get to know the details and see the magnificent landscapes of the São Vicente Valley that provide a splendid view of the sea and land, discover where the oldest formations of the island (site of the Lameiros), which have emerged for more than 5 millions of years is now possible through a scale model (1 / 2400) of the São Vicente Valley present at the Center of Volcanism.
The third room of the Pavilion allows us to know the enormous natural wealth of the Madeira Archipelago, which is only comparable to its beauty - the Natural Reserves of the Island of Madeira such as the Desertas Islands Natural Reserve, the Selvagens Islands Natural Reserve, the Garajau Nature Reserve, the Rocha do Navio Nature Reserve and the Laurissilva Forest are very well achieved through an audiovisual projection, whose purpose is to learn, know and preserve them.
Who has never wanted to discover what lies beyond the earth's surface? Now it is possible to give vent to the adventurous spirit and go where no one dared to go until today and feel the pulsar of the depths of the Island in a fantastic trip to the interior of the Earth. Reaching the Earth's core is only possible through the simulated descent of the elevator, which gives the visitor the crossing of a tube of incandescent lava. Arrived at the core of the Earth, consisting essentially of iron, nickel and some sulfides, it is possible to verify the different reactions that constitute it through a set of mirrors. All this course pretends to simulate a distance of 3000 Km, that intends to characterize the different terrestrial units: the Crust (surface of the Earth), the Mantle and the Nucleus.