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  • What's new in exploration


    Perry A. Fischer, Editor

    Remote eruptions. Some of the same techniques in remote sensing that allow oil fields to be found can be used to pinpoint where, on a volcano, an eruption is likely to occur. It was noticed more than 20 years ago that, even with the relatively few and coarse bandwidths available in earlier versions of Landsat satellites, they nevertheless would sometimes reveal images showing the precise outline of an oil field. Most often, this would happen within a narrow timeframe in the spring or fall, in a heavily wooded area, when the colors of the plants were changing. Stresses on the vegetation caused by microseepage from the reservoir far below would produce a color change at a different time than the surrounding vegetation. A similar phenomenon has been found for determining exactly where on a volcano’s mount and surrounding area it is likely to erupt.

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