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Global Volcanism Program: Pyroclastic Fall

Giant plume of brown and white cloud-like materials coming out of a volcano.
Pyroclastic Fall video from the Types and Processes gallery in the Global Volcanism Program site at the Smithsonian Institution. The video explains pyroclastic flows and the damage they may cause,...

Volcano Geochemistry Webcast with Elizabeth Cottrell

Maggy Benson and geologist Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell at table with volcanic rocks and ash. Cottrell holding a seltzer water bottle
In this video, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell explains why she calls volcanoes the "lungs of the Earth."

Parícutin: The Birth of a Volcano

Long shot from black and white film footage of a high plume of ash from the erupting Parícutin volcano in Mexico in n 1943.
In 1943, a volcano emerged out of a cornfield in Mexico. Smithsonian scientist William Foshag spent more than two years on site studying its growth, and he took video and many photos in the process...

What Is Volcanic Ash, Anyway?

Brown tinted film shot of ash coming out of an erupting volcano. Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell is explaining volcanic ash is.
That's not smoke billowing skyward from many an erupting volcano, it's volcanic ash – and it's not like the ash in your fireplace. Learn how it forms, why scientists call it "frozen hot magma," and...

Smithsonian's Nature of Science: Expedition to Arctic Volcanoes

Three people in white helmets and orange and black jumpsuits stand in a steaming, black landscape. A helicopter approaches.
Join geologist Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell as she explores the active volcanoes of Alaska's Western Aleutian Islands, searching for evidence of how the continents formed. Her mission is to gather samples...

Plate Tectonics

Map of green continents on blue water showing locations of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and  where tectonic plate are.
See how mapping the location of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can tell us where tectonic plate boundaries are. Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell explains how the plates interact and how volcanic eruptions...

Volcanic Eruptions Webcast with Ben Andrews

Maggy Benson and geologist Ben Andrews with protective glasses on, while conducting a laser demonstration during a webcast.
In this video, geologist Ben Andrews shares how explosive volcanic eruptions happen and demonstrates how he studies them.

Submarine Volcanoes and Hydrothermal Vents

black & white video of steam or hot and mineral-rich fluids from the seafloor coming from a hydrothermal vent
Recent scientific discoveries have revealed an underwater community of marine animals and other organisms that thrive in the dark depths of the ocean near hydrothermal vents and undersea volcanoes...


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