• Question: How much ash can a volcano hold/store?

    Asked by Joshua to Elena on 17 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Elena Maters

      Elena Maters answered on 17 Nov 2019:

      Actually, a volcano doesn’t hold/store any ash, but instead contains magma. During an eruption, the magma explodes into lots of tiny pieces, which cool quickly in the air to form the solid particles that we call ash. For example, the very biggest eruptions like that of the Yellowstone Caldera over 600 000 years ago can erupt 1000 cubic kilometres of magma, covering much of the United States and Canada with a dusting of ash!