Satellites may predict when a volcanic eruption will end

From Engadget - July 14, 2017

Graduate student Estelle Bonny, along with her mentor Robert Wright, drew from a 1981 hypothesis on the flow rate of lava during a volcanic eruption. When lava flows during a volcanic eruption, the model says, it quickly rises to a peak rate and then tapers off much more slowly. When the lava stops flowing altogether, the eruption is over.

Using existing infrared satellite data on volcanic eruptions, the team was able to measure the rate of lava flow by measuring the amount of heat. They then used the existing model to predict when the lava flow would end. The results of the model and the satellite data matched up, confirming that the 1981 model was indeed accurate. Their findings were published in the July issue of Bulletin of Vulcanology.


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