You might have seen a bit of hubbub in the news recently about an unusual cluster of volcanic activity in the Yellowstone Valley with some speculation that the entire Yellowstone Caldera (aka supervolcano) might blow, so who better to set the record straight than Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Mike Poland. Take it away Mike:
Mike Poland is a research geophysicist with the Cascades Volcano Observatory and the current Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. His area of specialization is volcano geodesy, which emphasizes the surface deformation and gravity fields associated wth volcanic activity. This work involves the use of space-based tecnologies, like Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), as well as ground-based techniques, like microgravity surveys. Mike has taken part in studies on a variety of volcanic systems in the United states, including Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest, Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes in Hawaii, and the Yellowstone caldera. His recent work has focused on using gravity change over time to understand the character of the fluids that drive volcanic unrest, and also on the potential of satellite data to improve forecasts of future changes in volcanic activity.