The eruption of a volcano can have devastating consequences – killing people and destroying livelihoods, as well as releasing vast amounts of ash into the sky that disrupts air travel and alters the climate. Knowing what goes on underground, however, would facilitate better warnings for when an eruption will occur – and help save lives while keeping damage to a minimum.
“Understanding volcanoes is an international effort. The impact of eruptions does not stop at borders,” said volcanologist Dr. Catherine Annen of the University Savoie Mont Blanc in France.
Though relatively small, the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in southern Iceland in 2010 sticks in many people’s memories. Its drifting plume of ash led to the widespread cancellation of flights across Europe.