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Latest Earthquake | Chat Share
Volcano seismologists study several types of seismic events to better understand how magma and gases move towards the surface.
Many processes in and around volcanoes can generate earthquakes. Most of the time, these processes are faulting and fracturing that does not lead to an eruption. However, volcanic earthquakes do occur as magma and volcanic gases rise to the surface from depth, which involves significant stress changes in the crust as the material migrates upward.
Volcano seismologists study several types of seismic events to better understand how magma and gases move towards the surface:
Most volcano-related earthquakes are too small to feel, generally quite shallow (usually within 10 km (7 mi) of the surface), and can occur in swarms consisting of dozens to hundreds of events. Most swarms usually don't lead to eruptions, but most eruptions are preceded by swarms. Therefore, during any heightened periods of seismic activity at a volcano, seismologists work around the clock to detect subtle variations in the type, location, and intensity of seismic activity to determine whether or not an eruption may occur.