Erin Ross Jun 17
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Volcanic magma simmers right before it erupts

Kristina D.C. Hoeppner / Flickr

Volcanoes are not easy to study. Scientists trek over debris fields to place networks of GPS that track the movement of the ground, record earthquakes caused by magma moving through the mountain and even gather lava. But all of this research is done on the surface. One major piece of data was missing: what happens inside of a volcano before it erupts.A new study, published in Science, used crystals in magma to create a temperature record of the inside of a volcano in New Zealand.

Why it matters: If scientists can understand the behavior of a volcano right before it releases lava, they may be able to predict the eruptions.