Scientists at Work

Volcanologists wear special protective clothing when working around active lava. The photos below depict scientists documenting the eruption, taking temperature readings, and collecting gas samples.

Volcanologists often collect samples of molten lava, which are immediately quenched in a coffee can filled with water. The lava hardens to glass and is later analyzed in the lab, to see if the chemical composition has changed over time. This provides clues as to the plumbing system of the volcano. In the photos below, UH Hilo Geology students, wearing protective clothing, practice sampling lava.