Physical deformation in the surface of volcanoes could indicate possible eruptions. (Photo : Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

A new study from the Cambridge University revealed that the deformation, or the amount of bulging and shrinking, could predict when a volcano will erupt.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, showed that volcanoes tend to bulge or shrink as magma fills it up. These physical deformities in volcanoes could then serve as reliable indicator of future eruptions.

“We were interested in how the energy travelling between the sensors changes, whether it’s getting faster or slower,” said Clare Donaldson, a PhD student in Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, and the paper’s first author, in a press release. “We want to know whether the seismic velocity changes reflect increasing pressure in the volcano, as volcanoes bulge out before an eruption. This is crucial for eruption forecasting.”

For the study, the researchers combined a technique called “seismic noise interferometry” and geophysical measurements to measure the energy flowing…