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How do Scientists Study Volcanoes?

As the most northwestern university in the US mainland, Western Washington University sits under some dangerous volcanoes in the country.

Susan DeBari, Professor of Geology from Western Washington University, explained they have active volcanoes in their backyards.

The university hosts a particular geology program to learn more about the most dangerous volcanoes in the US.

DeBari’s first experience with geology was in 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted.

A few months later, she got a geology course from her friend, and she has loved it ever since.

She changed her major from pre-med to geology and dedicated her life to studying volcanoes.

The Pacific Northwest is ideal for volcanologists and geologists since it has Mount St. Helens.

She was hired at Western Washington University 25 years ago.

DeBari works on a project to decode volcanoes with fellow geologist Associate Professor Kristina Walowski.

They are currently learning about Mount Baker, about an hour from the campus.

They try decoding the story of Mount Baker, when, how, and why it last erupted.

“Volcanoes are products of habit,” she said.

Hence, after knowing what happened in the past, they can use the information to prepare for the future.

After collecting rock samples, the team returned to the lab to investigate it.

We can see the reflections and colors of the crystal under the lens of the microscope.

It explains the temperature, chemicals, and pressure that formed the rock and Mount Baker.

Scientists use this information to predict the type of eruption from volcanoes, whether it is explosive, more gaseous, or has magma.

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Reananda Hidayat Permono
Reananda Hidayat Permono
Completed his Master of Science - MS, Petroleum Geology from Curtin University, Perth, Australia.


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