However, little is known about a phenomenon that’s tightly linked to volcanic eruptions: electricity.
Electrical discharges often occur at the same time as explosive eruptions, especially in ash plumes—eruptions that eject only small particles, less than 2 millimeters in diameter. So far, our understanding of volcanic lightning has been severely limited by the challenge of studying an exploding volcano.
Now, researchers led by Corrado Cimarelli and Donald Dingwell, volcanologists from LMU University in Munich, Germany, have created the first ever lab-made volcano to study volcanic lightning.
The lab volcano combines a high-tech pressure cooker called a cylindrical autoclave with an ultra-hot oven. It’s designed to simulate the conditions that produce volcanic ash plumes.
Real volcanic ash is the final touch, triggering realistic