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Resources for Teaching about Volcanoes

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USGS: Volcano Hazards Program. Magma contains dissolved gases, which provide the driving force that causes most volcanic eruptions.

USGS: Volcano Hazards Program

As magma rises towards the surface and pressure decreases, gases are released from the liquid portion of the magma (melt) and continue to travel upward and are eventually released into the atmosphere. Large eruptions can release enormous amounts of gas in a short time. The 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo is thought to have injected more than 250 megatons of gas into the upper atmosphere on a single day.

However, even if magma never reaches the surface, gases can often escape continuously into the atmosphere from the soil, volcanic vents, fumaroles, and hydrothermal systems. By far the most abundant volcanic gas is water vapor, which is harmless. Carbon dioxide (CO2) trapped in low-lying areas can be lethal to people and animals. Carbon dioxide gas can collect in low-lying volcanic areas, posing a lethal risk to humans and animals.

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is very toxic in high concentrations. Volcanic Haze over Hawai'i. Dense, gray-white haze hung low over the Hawaiian Islands on December 3, 2008, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image.

Volcanic Haze over Hawai'i

Though seldom so thick or widespread, the haze is common in Hawai'i. It forms when sulfur dioxide from the islands’ volcanoes mixes with oxygen and water in the atmosphere. The tiny sulfate particles that make up vog reflect light well so that vog shows up easily when viewed from space. On December 3, the vog stretched from Hawai'i west and north to Maui, Kaho'olawe, Lana'i, and Moloka'i before disappearing beneath a bank of clouds. The sulfur dioxide came from Kilauea, the most active volcano in Hawaii in recent time. Shortly after noon on December 3, sulfur dioxide concentrations reached unhealthy levels in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park near the summit of the volcano, said the National Park Service. Daily images of Hawai'i are available from the MODIS Rapid Response System.

Instrument(s): Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands. A fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station allowed the astronauts this striking view of Sarychev Volcano (Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan) in an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009.

Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands

Sarychev Peak is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Island chain, and it is located on the northwestern end of Matua Island. Prior to June 12, the last explosive eruption occurred in 1989, with eruptions in 1986, 1976, 1954, and 1946 also producing lava flows. Ash from the multi-day eruption has been detected 2,407 kilometers east-southeast and 926 kilometers west-northwest of the volcano, and commercial airline flights are being diverted away from the region to minimize the danger of engine failures from ash intake. This detailed astronaut photograph is exciting to volcanologists because it captures several phenomena that occur during the earliest stages of an explosive volcanic eruption. The main column is one of a series of plumes that rose above Matua Island on June 12. NOVA - Official Website. Meet the Volcanoes Posted: January 3, 2013 Narrator:You probably have a pretty good idea what this is.

NOVA - Official Website

It’s a volcano—a place where molten rock, called magma, from deep within the Earth, makes its way up and erupts at the surface. But what you may not know is that not all volcanoes are made in exactly the same way. Hawaiʻi Hot Lava. Scanning Electron Microscope image of volcanic ash. Cascades Volcano Observatory. Researchers use geophysics to locate aquifers at Mount St.

Cascades Volcano Observatory

Helens.July 06, 2016 Every year, Mount St. Helens gets an average of 162 inches of rain and about 40 feet of snow. So where does all the water go? Some of it enters rivers and streams that originate on the volcano and some of it enters the groundwater system. Using a geophysical method called Controlled-Source Audio-Magnetotellurics, researchers located two aquifers at Mount St. Knowing more about groundwater at Mount St. Read more at Where is the Hot Rock, and Where is the Groundwater—Using CSAMT to Map Beneath and Around Mount St.

Recent Mount Hood earthquake swarm typical for this Oregon volcano.May 16, 2016. Measuring Lava Flow. Summary Students learn how volume, viscosity and slope are factors that affect the surface area that lava covers.

Measuring Lava Flow

Using clear transparency grids and liquid soap, students conduct experiments, make measurements and collect data. They also brainstorm possible solutions to lava flow problems as if they were geochemical engineers, and come to understand how the properties of lava are applicable to other liquids. Engineering Connection Many types of engineers must understand the properties of liquids, including how they behave differently depending on their volume, viscosity and slope.

Educational Standards Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards. All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standard Network (ASN), a project of JES & Co. Pre-Req Knowledge. Fs2014-3119. Volcano Resources. Volcano Resources 11 19 13. Volcano Resources 11 19 13.