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Open-File Report 1993-0445

Can Rain Cause Volcanic Eruptions?

By Larry G. Mastin

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.6 MB)Abstract

Volcanic eruptions are renowned for their violence and destructive power. This power comes ultimately from the heat and pressure of molten rock and its contained gases. Therefore we rarely consider the possibility that meteoric phenomena, like rainfall, could promote or inhibit their occurrence. Yet from time to time observers have suggested that weather may affect volcanic activity. In the late 1800's, for example, one of the first geologists to visit the island of Hawaii, J.D. Dana, speculated that rainfall influenced the occurrence of eruptions there. In the early 1900's, volcanologists suggested that some eruptions from Mount Lassen, Calif., were caused by the infiltration of snowmelt into the volcano's hot summit. Most such associations have not been provable because of lack of information; others have been dismissed after careful evaluation of the evidence.

First posted February 2, 1998

  • This report is available only on the Web

For additional information, contact:
CVO, Volcano Science Center,
Cascades Volcano Observatory
U.S. Geological Survey
1300 SE Cardinal Court, Building 10, Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98683-9589
http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Mastin, Larry G., 1993, Can rain cause volcanic eruptions?: U. S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 1993-0445, 2 pp., https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1993/0445/.


 


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