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Volcano Web Shorts 5: Volcanic Ash Impacts

3 minutes

(Describer) Title: USGS – Science for a changing world

(Describer) Quick scenes show work at laboratories and footage of giant plumes of ash rising from a volcano.

(Describer) Waves and colors are reviewed on many computer screens. Title: Volcano Web Shorts Number 5 – Volcanic Ash Impacts

My name is Larry Mastin. I work for the U.S. Geological Survey for the Volcano Hazards Program.

(Describer) He works at a computer.

My specialty is understanding and reducing impact from volcanic ash during eruptions.

(Describer) Title: Ash: finely ground volcanic rock.

Volcanic ash is geographically the most widespread hazard of all volcanic hazards. We know from Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano that erupted in 2010, as well as the the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and big eruptions like Pinatubo, that you can be many thousands of kilometers away from a volcano and still have your life disrupted.

(Describer) It covers ground and a house like heavy snow.

The greatest hazard from ash to airplanes is when ash is ingested into a jet engine. The ash melting temperature is usually below the normal operating temperature of the engine. The ash melts and coats the turbine blades. It can cause the turbines to stop. In the United States we have about 170 active volcanos, mostly in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. Although they're remote, more than about 300,000 people fly over or near those volcanos every day. We have on average one eruption per year from the Aleutians and Alaska and a few smaller eruptions. Our objective is to keep people safe by avoiding that ash and minimize the amount of disruption from those eruptions. What we do in our group is develop and test numerical models that track volcanic ash and forecast where it will go and land during an eruption. Once we have a forecast, we can forward them to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where they can be fed into a flight warning system that can be used to either reroute or reschedule flights to avoid that ash. I like developing models, but I especially like developing results that have some societal value.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production

(Describer) Titles: A production of USGS Volcano Hazards Program, USGS Office of Communications and Publishing. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Volcanic ash is geographically the most widespread of all volcanic hazards. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) geologist Larry Mastin describes how volcanic ash can disrupt lives many thousands of miles from an erupting volcano. The development of ash cloud models and ash cloud disruption to air traffic is highlighted.

Media Details

Runtime: 3 minutes

Volcano Web Shorts
Episode 1
3 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Volcano Web Shorts
Episode 2
4 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Volcano Web Shorts
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Volcano Web Shorts
Episode 4
4 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Volcano Web Shorts
Episode 5
3 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Volcano Web Shorts
Episode 6
3 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12