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Partners of this web site
Volcanic Ash: Effects & Mitigation Strategies

(Do you have material to contribute to this Web site? Follow this link.)

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 listed below hope people can learn to prepare and protect themselves from future volcanic ash fall.

Eruption column and cloud, Ruapehu volcano, 1996In 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.


U.S. Geological Survey, science for a changing world


U.S. Geological Survey, Volcano Hazards Program

This web site is coordinated by the USGS Volcano Hazards Program and hosted on a USGS server. Principle contact: Steven Brantley (

Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited


GNS Science

Principal contact: Graham Leonard (

University of Hawaii, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST)


University of Hawai`i in Manoa, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST)

Principal contact: Bruce Houghton (

International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of Earth's Interior


International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior

Cities on Volcanoes Commission: Commission leader: David Johnston (

International Volcanic Health Hazard Network identifier


International Volcanic Health Hazard Network

Principal contact: Claire Howell (

Massey University identifier


Massey University, Joint Centre for Disaster Research

Principal contact: David Johnston (

University of Canterbury identifier


University of Canterbury, Natural Hazard Research Centre

Principal contact: Jim Cole (

Do you have material (information or images) you'd like to contribute to this Web site?

It is our hope that new information can be added to this Web site based on the contributions from people that have experienced ash fall and documented well the effects of ash and steps taken to remove ash and reduce the effects of ash on equipment, vehicles, utilities, and various economic activities. If you would like to contribute new material to this Web site, first please contact Steve Brantley, U.S. Geological Survey,

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 3 February 2009