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Forecasting Volcanic Eruptions
Until recently, people living in a volcano's shadow had little help in predicting eruptions. In the past 300 years, volcanic eruptions, most of them unexpected, have killed more than 250,000 people. In 2000, experts estimated that 500 million people were living in areas at risk from catastrophic volcanic eruptions. This illustrated essay describes the strides scientists have made in eruption forecasting in recent years, especially tools for detecting changes in a volcano's seismicity, ground deformation, and gases, and explores why accurately predicting volcanic events remains difficult. A background essay and discussion questions are included.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Photograph
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
  • Natural hazards
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Source: NOVA: "Volcano Under the City". Copyright 2002-2006, WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-009-961
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural and human-induced hazards
        • Sci. / tech. in local, national, and global challenges
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: WGBH Educational Foundation
http://www.wgbh.org/