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Eruption Variability
This resource provides information about variances in size and explosiveness of volcanoes that have erupted during the past 10,000 years. Included is a table showing that small eruptions are more frequent than larger ones. A feature of this site is the introduction of a scheme for estimating the magnitude of historic eruptions, called the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI). Historical eruptions can be assigned a VEI number on a scale of 0 to 8, using one or more of the criteria which include volume of ejecta, height of the eruptive column, qualitative descriptions, style of past activity, and height of spreading of the eruptive plume head. A chart shows an example for each VEI from 0 through 8 along with the plume height, volume, and eruption type classification. Each volcano name provides a link to detailed information about it.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
  • Natural hazards
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Images credited to government organizations are in the public domain, and can be downloaded and used. It would be appropriate, however, to properly acknowledge the individuals and government agencies for each downloaded image. The remainder of the images and graphics are not in the public domain. These may not be downloaded and used, unless permission is granted from the individuals acknowledged in the expanded caption for each image.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-007-075
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • K-4:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Changes in earth and sky
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural hazards
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural and human-induced hazards
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Dr Victor E. Camp
Department of Geological Science, San Diego State University