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Volcanologists using a thermocouple

Volcanologists using a thermocouple

E392/0052

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Credit

STEPHEN & DONNA O'MEARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEPHEN & DONNA O'MEARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

In the field, volcanologists can use a thermocouple to measure the temperature of a steaming fissure or of a lava flow. A thermocouple is a device consisting of two different metallic conductors that are connected at both ends, producing a loop in which heat is converted into electrical current when there is a difference in temperature between their two junctions. It is used to measure the temperature of a third substance by connecting it to both junctions and measuring the voltage generated between them. The temperature is read off by a hand-held device.

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