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SEM of volcanic ash from Redoubt Volcano, Alaska (Image 1)


A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of an ash particle

A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of an ash particle, collected following the Redoubt Volcano eruptioin in Alaska on March 22, 2009. The ash was collected during the ashfall in Healy, Alaska, by Pavel Izbekov, a research associate at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), on March 23, 2009.

The image was created by Izbekov and Jill Shipman, a UAF graduate student studying with Izbekov, using an ISI-50 SEM at the Advanced Instrumentation Laboratory at UAF.

Volcanic ash--pulverized rock ejected from a volcano--consists of tiny jagged pieces of rock and glass. Unlike wood ash, newly ejected volcanic ash is sharp and abrasive. It can damage car finishes, clog machinery, vents, and pipes, and can cause respiratory discomfort. In large enough quantities, its weight can be enough to collapse roofs, especially if it gets wet.

The AVO is a joint program of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAFGI), and the State of Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS).

This research was supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation (OISE 05-30278 and EAR 06-36118). (Date of Image: March 2009) [See related image Here.]

Credit: Pavel Izbekov and Jill Shipman, University of Alaska Fairbanks

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