They can have a huge impact on their immediate environment, and far beyond. Dr. Rymer has studied Askja Volcano in Iceland: "In 1875, Askja erupted explosively, hurling ash as far as Scotland and Scandinavia and coated a large portion of Iceland in tephra (pumice). The crater left by this eruption is 200m deep and 5km wide."
Volcanoes also offer a fascinating glimpse into how the world functions: “Understanding how the earth’s system works together - everything from the innermost workings of the earth’s core through to the atmosphere and the ionosphere above - will just blow your mind.”
Why work with Earthwatchers?
Dr. Rymer recently told Earthwatch, “It’s been revolutionary…You have huge gaps in your data if you don’t have some sort of long, consistent monitoring program, which is the sort of thing that Earthwatch allows us to have.” There’s also the benefit for the volunteers, who, she says, “are finding that their eyes are being opened to a particular area of science or a particular geographic area. Many of them come back.”