The Alaska Volcano Observatory is giving outdoor enthusiasts and Alaskan community members an opportunity to participate in volcanic ash monitoring, a USGS press release reported.
With the help of a tool on the AVO website, users can provide ash fall information to the Observatory. The information is then used by AVO and National Weather Service scientists to track and study ash clouds.
Volcanic ash can threaten North Pacific air routes and local communities, affecting both global and regional commerce. Warnings issued by AVO and the National Weather Service aid in the protection of lives and property.
Other U.S. and international volcano observatories plan to implement similar online tools in the future.
Image: A Mount Cleveland eruption in Alaska in 2006 (Credit: NASA, via Wikimedia Commons)