Learn more about volcano monitoring and meet USGS scientists.

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Meet scientists of the USGS Volcano Science Center and learn more about their jobs as they watch over 161 known active volcanoes within the US and its territories.

These two-to-four-minute web shorts provide glimpses into some of many professions that contribute to the science of volcanology.

  • Photogrammetry: Photogrammetry is the science of making precise measurements by the use of photography. USGS geologist Angie Diefenbach describes how she uses a digital camera and computer software to understand the growth rate of lava domes during a volcanic eruption.
  • Debris flows: Debris flows are hazardous flows of rock, sediment and water that surge down mountain slopes and into adjacent valleys. Hydrologist Richard Iverson describes the nature of debris-flow research and explains how debris flow experiments are conducted at the USGS Debris Flow Flume, west of Eugene, Oregon. Spectacular debris flow footage, recorded by Franck Lavigne of the Universite Paris, makes clear the destructive power of these flows.
  • Seismology: USGS volcano seismologist, Seth Moran, describes how seismology and seismic networks are used to mitigate volcanic hazards.
  • Instrumentation Development: USGS technologist Rick LaHusen describes how the development and deployment of instruments plays a crucial role in mitigating volcanic hazards.
  • Volcanic Ash Impacts: USGS geologist Larry Mastin describes how volcanic ash can disrupt lives many thousands of miles from an erupting volcano. The development of ash cloud models and ash cloud disruption to air traffic is highlighted.
  • Societal Impacts of Volcanism: USGS geologist, Angie Diefenbach, describes how she uses GIS, (Geographic Information Systems) software to study volcanic eruptions and their impacts on society.