The impact of volcanic eruptions can be felt from hundreds of miles away. Volcanic ash and pyroclastic flows are filled with sulfur dioxide and metal-like particles that can infringe on humanity’s safety, health, and economic well-being. As magma (molten rock) rises from deep inside Earth, tectonic plates shift, leading to an eruption. Eruptions release rocks, heat, and gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur, acid, and water into the atmosphere.

In addition to volcanoes’ direct physical danger, they can also lead to power outages, poor air quality, wildfires, and disruptions to aviation. That’s why mapping and predicting such hazards is crucial. NASA provides unique data products and insights to assist with mapping damage and tracking air quality impacts from volcanoes.