Monitoring and Studying Volcanoes - 11 of 10

Monitoring and Studying Volcanoes FAQs - 10 Found

Load first FAQ in this category.



Load last FAQ in this category.
What instruments, tools, and methods do you use to study volcanoes?

The type of equipment and techniques we use to study volcanoes depends on the particular volcano topic we are investigating and on the experiment we are conducting. When specialized instruments are not available for a special study or for monitoring a specific type of activity, we design and build our own; for example the acoustic flow monitor (AFM) for detecting lahars and a debris-flow flume for studying flowing mixtures of water and rock debris under controlled conditions.

For studying and monitoring volcanoes several onsite and remote methods are used to gather data. That data and the volcano's history also help us forecast eruptions.

For reconstructing a volcano's eruptive history so that we can identify the type of activity most likely to occur in the future as well as the areas around a volcano that are likely to be effected by future eruptions, we use many geologic mapping and dating strategies. These include:
  1. Identifying rock outcrops, formations, and features on the ground and identifying their exact location on detailed aerial photographs and topographic maps or in computerized geographic information systems (GIS).
  2. Collecting dozens to hundreds of volcanic rock and ash samples from sites located on or near the volcano and also tens of kilometers downwind or downstream, and then using laboratory techniques for determining their chemistry and mineral compositions.
  3. Determining the ages of as many rock deposits formed by past activity of the volcano by using several common methods:
         - Carbon 14 dating
         - Tree ring dating
         - Paleomagnetism measurements
  4. Representing the types and ages of volcanic rock deposits and/or identifying volcanic hazard areas around the volcano on a paper map or computerized geographic information system.

Tags: Geothermal Resources, Earthquakes, Tectonics, Monitoring, Volcanoes, Lava, Seismicity, Ring of Fire