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n. The study of volcanoes.


n. the branch of geology that studies volcanoes [syn: vulcanology]


Volcanology (also spelled vulcanology) is the study of volcanoes, lava, magma, and related geological, geophysical and geochemical phenomena. The term volcanology is derived from the Latin word vulcan. Vulcan was the ancient Roman god of fire.

A volcanologist is a geologist who studies the eruptive activity and formation of volcanoes, and their current and historic eruptions. Volcanologists frequently visit volcanoes, especially active ones, to observe volcanic eruptions, collect eruptive products including tephra (such as ash or pumice), rock and lava samples. One major focus of enquiry is the prediction of eruptions; there is currently no accurate way to do this, but predicting eruptions, like predicting earthquakes, could save many lives.

Usage examples of "volcanology".

Waiting for the end, I learned what I could about seismology and volcanology and tried to face the future.

People who are already familiar with these eruptions will find their treatments a bit cursory, but this book is a good introduction to both volcanology and volcano history.