EOS Volcanology Logo EOS Volcanology Slide Set #3

Slide set compiled by Pete Mouginis-Mark, University of Hawaii

The impact of volcanoes on the Earth System was dramatically demonstrated in 1991 by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. The June, 1991, eruptions of Pinatubo have had near-global effects on weather and climate as a result of the introduction of sulfur dioxide and aerosols into the atmosphere. Other eruptions, such as that of Mount St. Helens in 1980, Redoubt volcano in 1989, Mt. Spurr in 1992 and the decade-long eruption of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, have also heightened the awareness of the U.S. population as to the effects of eruptions.

This slide set provides illustrations of the diverse ways the NASA Geology Program is already addressing global change issues through the analysis of the volcanoes and volcanic hazards. Examples are given of eruption plumes, the analysis of the thermal properties of lava flows, and different types of mapping that can be done from satellite data sets. Illustrations are also provided to show the educational activities that are under way to help inform teachers and their students about the uses of remote sensing data sets in the analysis of their local area.

Many of the NASA activities focus on understanding the physics and dynamics of volcanic eruptions and the hazards they pose to both the local and regional environment. Eruption plumes provide the direct link between the geology of the volcano, the injection of material into the stratosphere, and short-term (1 to 3 year) climate change. Volcanoes also threaten more than 50 million people world wide, so the need to understand their history and eruptive style is very important.

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