Related Research Areas
Earth Surface & Interior

Volcanoes have different personalities -- while some give notice of impending eruption (Dvorak and Dzurisin, 1997), for many others it is often difficult to decipher what they will do next (e.g., restless calderas like Long Valley, CA). To assess whether a given episode of unrest at a volcano is normal background activity or evidence of an impending eruption it is useful to know the volcano's personality via its past behaviour. Although there are more than 1500 "potentially active" volcanoes around the world, the histories of only a few dozen are well documented (Simkin and Siebert, 1994}. Futhermore, sometimes volcanoes that aren't believed to be active can erupt, often after centuries of repose (e.g., Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines, 1991). We propose to use remotely sensed data to document the deformational and thermal history of all volcanoes (several hundred) in the central and southern Andes over a 5-20 year time period. Because remote sensing data is not sufficient to completely characterize the background activity, we will make field visits to 10-20 volcanoes of interest to monitor seismic and thermal activity with South American collaborators. A key component of this work will be an education plan developed with experts in education/outreach to use the remote sensing data and field work in a variety of ways to educate and inspire K-16 students and the general public in both English and Spanish.

Project PI: Matthew Pritchard/Cornell University



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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 09, 2010


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