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Part of the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series book series (EESS)


Volcanic eruptions


Volcanism: the set of geologic processes that result in the expulsion of lava, pyroclastics, and gases at the Earth’s surface. The process by which magma and gases are transferred from Earth’s interior to the surface.


It is estimated that more than 500 million people live on or near active volcanoes around the world. The very eruptive products that present clear and frequent danger to the inhabitants are the primary reason for their presence: fertile volcanic soils. Currently, there are of the order of 1,000 volcanoes worldwide that are considered active, having erupted in the last 10,000 years (Simkin and Siebert, 1994). That is more than the number of active volcanologists, suggesting that remote sensing technology can substitute for human observers or ground-based instruments to keep an eye on active volcanoes over time. There are several volcanic phenomena that lend themselves to remote detection and monitoring: eruption plumes,...

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This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the NASA.

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Abrams, M.J. (2014). Volcanism. In: Njoku, E.G. (eds) Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, New York, NY.

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