Katmai at USGS Reston

The 20th Century’s Largest Volcanic Eruption: Mt. Katmai Topic Of Free Lecture Wednesday

RESTON, Va.— Mount Katmai’s 1912 eruption in Alaska, which was 30 times larger than the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980, is the topic of a free public lecture by Bill Burton Wednesday, June 6, at 7:00 p.m. at the U.S. Geological Survey National Center in Reston, Va.

“No one living today can recall a volcanic eruption of such magnitude, or of such potential disruption to human safety and systems, and yet we know that many volcanic complexes in the United States and around the globe are capable of someday erupting similar or larger volumes of molten rock and ash,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt.

The lecture takes place in a federal facility and valid photo ID is required for entry by those 18 year of age and older. Attendees should plan to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes early to process through security.

One hundred years after the eruption, the region of Mt. Katmai remains uniquely preserved; there has been little erosion and almost no vegetation change at the site, making this an exceptional location for scientists to learn more about how large explosive eruptions occur. USGS Geologist Bill Burton will provide an overview of the 1912 event and discuss how scientists are using the Mount Katmai eruption to improve understanding of modern-day volcanic hazards.

This region is now a National Park and includes the famous “Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes,” the collapsed Mt. Katmai volcano, and a nearby volcanic dome and vent, called Novarupta.

For more information and directions visit the Public Lecture Series website.

Those unable to attend the lecture in person can follow it live on Twitter @USGSLive

These evening events are free to the public and intended to familiarize a general audience with science issues that are meaningful to their daily lives. USGS speakers are selected for their ability and enthusiasm to share their expertise with an audience that may be unfamiliar with the topic.

The series provides the public an opportunity to interact with USGS scientists and ask questions about recent developments in Natural Hazards; Water; Energy Minerals and Environmental Health; Climate and Land Use Change; Ecosystems; and Core Science Systems. Ultimately, the goal is to create a better understanding of the importance and value of USGS science in action.

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