Volcanic Relations: A Volcano, North Korea, and Some Hot Science

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Date(s) - 04/16/2014
12:00 - 13:00

Gangplank Chandler


In August, 2013, a team of scientists from the UK went to North Korea. Not for politics or “extreme tourism”. But, to study a volcano that produced one of the largest volcanic eruptions in human history. That trek was to Mt. Paektu, North Korea’s active volcano. Despite the volcano’s volatile history, most people (even volcanologists) don’t know it exists — it’s that poorly studied. For the first time, international scientists are now working directly with North Korean colleagues on unravelling the mysteries of the so-called “Millennium Eruption” and understanding the current state of the activity of the volcano so that we can prepare for future hazard scenarios. The project also seeks to build diplomacy with North Korea through science and the sharing of ideas.

Dr. Kayla Iacovino is a recent graduate of the University of Cambridge, where she joined forces with the international team studying Paektu. Her research focuses on understanding volcanoes by exploring the chemistry of their underground magma chambers. She has worked on volcanoes around the world such as Erebus, Antarctica; the Chilean Andes; and Paektu, North Korea.

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