Developing a method to predict when a volcano will erupt has long remained out of reach. Less studied, but also important for public safety, is forecasting when eruptions will end, a feat that has proven equally elusive.
Now researchers are using satellite data to test a 1981 theory that lava flow–forming eruptions follow a predictable pattern, and they have confirmed the pattern in many cases. What’s more, they find that using the theoretical model and observations from space as their guides, they can predict with considerable accuracy when those pattern-fitting eruptions will stop.
Read more of my story for Eos here.