The idea for this web site developed in parallel by two groups who decided to combine their efforts.
In 2000 the late Dr. Richard V. Fisher, scientist emeritus of University of California Santa Barbara, approached USGS volcanologists to explore what he could do to help prepare volcano-hazard educational material for the benefit of people having to deal with active and erupting volcanoes. Volcanic ash typically covers a much larger area and disrupts the lives of far more people than the other more lethal types of volcano hazards, but information about ash and what to do with it is not readily available. With Dr. Fisher's extensive experience and interest in pyroclastic rocks, he enthusiastically agreed to begin work on a web site about volcanic ash. By creating an online resource about the known effects of volcanic ash and summarizing how people have dealt with the tiny abrasive rock particles during and after recent eruptions, Dr. Fisher and the partners hope people can learn to prepare and protect themselves from future volcanic ash fall.
In a separate development the experience from the1995-1996 Ruapehu (New Zealand) eruptions by Dr. David Johnston and Dr. Bruce Houghton of the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences highlighted the need for real-time information on the consequences of volcano hazards. Such information often blends volcanology with input from engineering, medical, plant, animal, and material sciences and often cannot be found readily in any single institution or reference. This information needs to be available in a format that meets the needs of a variety of end-users and structured in a fashion that permits rapid access to all the information required by each end-user sector. From this perspective, work was begun to provide information about volcanic ash through this web site.
The initial material for this Web site was designed by Jennifer Adleman and Steven Brantley of the U.S. Geological Survey, David Johnston of the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited, New Zealand, Richard Fisher, University of California Santa Barbara and Bruce Houghton, University of Hawai`i, Manoa.
information pertaining to earth sciences. Examples: geophysical features and processes, geology, minerals, sciences dealing with the composition, structure and origin of the earth s rocks, risks of earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides, gravity information, soils, permafrost, hydrogeology, erosion