Volcano Watch: How Hawaiian rocks tell their stories

Left: Example of tephra deposits as they appear in the field. At this macro step, field geologists take notes and make detailed descriptions of the samples before collecting material for further study. Middle: A laboratory-prepared mount of volcanic glass in clear epoxy that has been polished for geochemical analysis. Right: A microscopic view of one of the volcanic glass grains from the middle photo (outlined in red), taken using a high-powered microscope. (USGS Photos by K.J. Lynn/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Follow along as we outline the journey of one of our volcanic samples used for geochemical analysis and the information we glean at each step.