Friday, January 31, 2014, 7:30 – 8:30pm

Richard Fiske
Kilauea: Hawaii’s Most Famous Volcano

Downstairs at Town Hall; Enter on Seneca Street. $5.

Kilauea eruption
Science

Richard Fiske 1Hawaii’s most famous volcano is also its most dangerous. The worst part? Seattle sits on the same “Ring of Fire” as this volcano. The slow, continuous bubbling of lava out of Hawaii’s Kilauea has destroyed infrastructure over the years, but Smithsonian geologist Richard Fiske says there’s more to the picture. Along with the Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Fiske has been analyzing years of data on Kilauea’s activities. Over the past 1,500 years, Kilauea has had numerous explosive eruptions — six of these carried ash higher than a jet plane’s altitude. In fact, the volcano’s 1790 eruption remains the single most lethal eruption from a U.S. volcano–and Fiske’s studies shed light on the activities of large shield volcanoes and the nasty threat they pose.

Presented by: Town Hall as part of The Seattle Science Lectures, sponsored by Microsoft, and the Town Green sub series presented with The Peach Foundation. Series media sponsorship provided by KPLU.
Tickets: $5.
Doors open: 6:30 p.m.
Town Hall member benefits: Priority seating.
Learn more: About Kilauea.
Feature photo credit: National Park Service, photo by D.W. Peterson.

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One Comment

  1. Ralph Dawes
    Posted January 29, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    This sounds great – I’m sure Richard Fiske will give a wonderful talk. I cannot help but note that Hawaii is not on the Pacific Ring of Fire. It is more like Hawaii is at the bull’s eye in the middle of the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is a chain of convergent plate boundaries with subduction zones, where massive tectonic plates with oceanic crust on them dive slowly down into the earth beneath adjacent plates, producing great earthquakes and chains of spectacular volcanoes like the ones that cap the Cascade Range. Hawaii is not anywhere near a plate boundary, and one way the difference shows up is that the type of volcano that is characteristic of the Hawaiian Islands, in fact the type of volcano that the Hawaiian Islands are all made of, is not like the characteristic type of volcano that marks the Pacific Ring of Fire. This is part of one of the things that might be particularly interesting to us northwesterners about Richard Fiske’s talk – Kilauea is different from the types of volcanoes we are most familiar with here in our local section of the Pacific Ring of Fire, and the differences raises lots of interesting questions about volcanoes – such as how they erupt and what goes on inside the earth to produce them.

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