— Vivacious Volcanoes —

Volcanology for dummies

What happens during an eruption?

Would you like to read how a volcano works and what happens during an eruption? Are you secretly an amateur volcanologist? Learn about volcanoes and the most notorious eruptions.

Why are volcanoes fascinating? They are beautiful and majestic, but at the same time, they cause death and destruction. No one remains unmoved by the sight of a volcano. They make us feel small, they provoke fascination, confusion, fear, ... In short, they command respect. 

And for each active volcano, there is always that burning question: 

When is the next eruption? 

How much destruction will it cause? What happens beneath a volcano and how do we know?

"For most of its life, a volcano is inactive. One's image is that of a graceful cone, capped with snow, commanding the cherry-blossom-draped landscape of a Japanese travel poster. The serene mood may continue for millennia until the darker side of the volcano's character is abruptly manifested in a violent eruption. Convoluted clouds climb many kilometers in the atmosphere, bringing darkness at noon, and raining hot ashes at towns and villages beneath. Tongues of molten rock ooze down the slopes of the volcano, engulfing the flimsy structures standing in their way." Cited from Francis, P., and Oppenheimer, C. (1993) Volcanoes. Oxford University Press. 521 p.

Available to read: click on the image to go to the article.