Tilting Technology

Prior to a volcanic eruption there are generally some warning signs, one of which is bulging near vents as magma moves upwards towards the surface. Throughout history attempts to measure these movements have been made to aide with the prediction of an eruption. Romans noticed ground movement and swelling preceding a volcanic eruption. They tried to monitor the degree of tilt by filling clay vessels to the top with water. As the vessel began to tilt, water would flow out of it and they could measure the loss in water, which would help them determine how much tilting had occurred. In theory, this simple method sounds very useful, however, it is too susceptible to external forces. Changing weather conditions meant much of the water could be lost due to evaporation, or more added through rainfall. Wild animals roaming the mountains may also have found it very considerate that humans had left some water for them to drink. A basic clinometer can be made at home to measure changes in inclinati…

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