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Measuring magma viscosity early could forecast volcanic eruptions

Posted on April 9, 2021

The 2018 Kīlauea eruption in Hawaiʻi provided scientists with an unprecedented opportunity to identify new factors that could help forecast the hazard potential of future eruptions

A team of researchers, including NDPTC Science Director and University of Hawaii Professor, Dr. Bruce Houghton identified an indicator of magma viscosity that can be measured before an eruption, providing critical information to help understand possible future eruptions. The findings are published in Nature. “The study is very unusual because it falls at the interface between two distinct disciplines in volcanology: seismology and studies of the viscosity (fluidity) of the molten rock,” said Houghton.