Volcanology is the broad study of volcanoes and related geographical phenomena. There are a number of volcanic observatories in the world established in countries with volcanic regions to monitor those areas closely for the purpose of documentation of geographical changes as well as for the prediction of disasters.
Volcanoes and volcanic regions are situated on plate boundaries which are also incidentally subjected to earthquakes and tremors. The friction of plates moving causes the underline rock to melt forming magma. As the temperatures and pressure increase it causes eruptions of magma onto the earth surface in the form of volcanoes. Earthquakes are customary in these regions due to the release of pressure and the shock of breaking of rock masses. Volcanic eruptions are known to cause massive destruction of any living and lifeless matter in its vicinity as well as the construction of new landforms.Major eruptions like Mount St. Helens, Mount Krakatau and Mount Tambora which managed to flatten miles of land and caused severely climatic impacts are examples of destructiveness of volcanoes. The newly formed Tongan island, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai is an example of the constructive nature of volcanism.
Various instruments are used to measure and observe geothermal activities, earth tremors and volcanic deformation. When an eruption or any intensification of geothermal activities is forecast warnings are issued to inhabitants of the region as well as to airlines flying through the area to be removed from the path of danger. In terms of prevention and mitigation of such disasters, the only possibility so far remains evacuation as the power of plate tectonics still precedes the powers of science and civilization. However earlier this year, BBC revealed an ambitious plan by NASA to deter the forecasted eruption of Yellowstone supervolcano by dispersing the building heat with the method of drilling down the volcano and pumping down water at high speed. Although scientists remain cautious about its success and the principle of doing no harm, this initiative if successful could be a giant leap for humans in conquering the planet’s destructive stances.