Drilling Volcanoes

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Science  07 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5340, pp. 1084-1085
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5340.1084

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Geoscientists think they know what lies underneath volcanoes, but the only way to be sure is to drill holes. In his Perspective, Eichelberger discusses the past and future of volcano drilling, from the successful project to penetrate Obsidian Dome to the proposed drilling of Mount Unzen in Japan. The results of such projects will put textbook diagrams of volcano interiors--at present guided by assumptions--on a firm experimental footing.