New Horizons in Science

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Kilauea: High-tech observation gives scientists a look inside a restless planet

Topic: Natural disaster
Sunday, October 14, 2018 -
11:30am to 12:30pm
Lisner Auditorium

This spring, one of the most active volcanoes on our planet began a dramatic eruption. Fissures opened up beneath homes on the island of Hawai’i as Kilauea’s crater collapsed, releasing rivers of lava into the sea. Tourists were banished with warnings that “refrigerator-sized boulders” could fly into the air as the summit caldera deformed with explosions of debris and ash.

This latest eruption, likely the biggest since scientists began observing Kilauea, “took Hawai’i from being an interesting long-term science experiment to now, all sorts of surprises,” says Rick Wessels, part of a team of geophysicists observing the eruption in minute detail with high-tech tools that include instrumented drone flights and high-resolution satellite imaging. Wessels will provide an up-to-the-minute report on the eruption and what scientists are learning from it. 

Social media hashtag: #KilaueaLessons
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