Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Team Looking Into How Volcanoes Work

Date:
January 14, 2004
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
A team of Michigan State University scientists is taking a close look at frozen magma, or lava, taken from a very active Japanese volcano in order to determine why some volcanoes tend to erupt more violently than others.

A team of Michigan State University scientists is taking a close look at frozen magma, or lava, taken from a very active Japanese volcano in order to determine why some volcanoes tend to erupt more violently than others.

Related Articles


The MSU team is part of an international group of researchers whose mission, said MSU geological sciences professor Thomas Vogel, is to “figure out how volcanoes work.”

“You need to know the chemical and mineralogical composition of the frozen magma in order to determine how these systems operate,” Vogel said.

“Volcanoes are disruptive because of their explosiveness,” said Lina Patino, an assistant professor of geological sciences. “Right now we have no idea why sometimes volcanoes are highly explosive and other times they just ooze lava out.”

To get to the heart of the matter, Vogel and Patino have joined a team of scientists who are literally drilling into Mount Unzen, one of Japan’s more active volcanoes, to extract frozen magma from it. Vogel called the work “risky business.”

“This is not a trivial exercise. It can be very dangerous,” he said. “The fact is we’re drilling into an active volcano and trying to find out how it works.”

In the early 1990s, a number of explosive eruptions from Unzen left 44 people dead and caused $2 billion in damages.

Specifically, the MSU team is bringing back to campus samples of the frozen magma, which are taken from a conduit of the volcano. Here it is analyzed to determine its chemical composition.

There are two types of magma, the researchers said – one that is stored at relatively shallow levels and continues to evolve by crystallization, and another that is “newer,” magma that comes up from the depths of the earth and mingles with the “older” magma.

“Our specific job,” Vogel said, “is to look at the interaction of these two magmas. We do chemical analyses of the rocks and the minerals within the rocks, determining their major- and trace-element composition.”

Other members of the research team include scientists from the University of Tokyo and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Mount Unzen is one of 75 active volcanoes in Japan. Located in the southwest part of the country, the mountain stands more than 4,400 feet tall. It last erupted in 1995.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Team Looking Into How Volcanoes Work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040114075413.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2004, January 14). Team Looking Into How Volcanoes Work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040114075413.htm
Michigan State University. "Team Looking Into How Volcanoes Work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040114075413.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A new study of nearly two decades of satellite data shows Antarctic ice shelves are losing more mass faster every year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 25 Oklahoma counties after powerful storms rumbled across the state causing one death, numerous injuries and widespread damage. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) At least four people have been killed by severe flooding in northern Chile after rains battered the Andes mountains and swept into communities below. Rob Muir reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oklahomans "devastated" By Tornado Damage

Oklahomans "devastated" By Tornado Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Buildings and homes lay in ruins and a semi-truck gets flipped following a fierce tornado that left at least one person dead. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins