Would you fly to the top of a volcano that’s about to erupt at any moment? Volcanologist Helena Buurman did, and survived to tell the tale! In 2008, Helena was monitoring Mount Redoubt in Alaska, when the ground beneath the volcano began to shake. What follows is a tale of volcanic adventure, involving earthquakes, helicopters, and a massive eruption!
That's a photo of Helena during her time working at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. She's done many interesting jobs as a volcano seismologist, monitoring both volcanoes and earthquakes.
Helena runs an educational website about science in Alaska called Alaska Earth and Sky. It features her fun cartoons and lots of interesting facts about volcanoes and earthquakes. She also loves doing talks about volcanoes!
INVENT YOUR OWN VOLCANO!
In the episode, we invite you to tell your own story about your own volcano! Here are a few resources to help you decide what your volcano will be like and how it will erupt.
National Geographic's Volcanos 101 - "Learn about the major types of volcanoes, the geological process behind eruptions, and where the most destructive volcanic eruption ever witnessed occurred."
National Geographic Kids also has volcano facts for younger learners!
LiveScience has a clear explainer of Volcano Facts and Types.
SciKids has a wonderful video introduction!
We'd love to see Mount Tumble (haha, you can have a better name than that). Email your drawing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE ABOUT MOUNT REDOUBT
Here's a news report about the eruption Helena just missed:
Monitor Mount Redoubt for yourself! The Alaska Volcano Observatory has webcams pointed at the top of the mountain, continually updated.
A 2018 report ranked Redoubt as one of the top 5 most dangerous volcanoes in the US. What are the others?
What do earthquakes have to do with volcanoes? Here are a number of links to explore more about the connection.
Monitoring Volcano Seismicity Provides Insight to Volcanic Structure - USGS Volcano Hazards
Massive Earthquake Swarms Signals Birth of a Volcano - Newsweek article
Volcano Seismology in Iceland - explore FAQs about volcano seismologists, from video above. From the website:
"Measuring the tiny earthquakes that happen in volcanoes, gives us a powerful tool we can use to see inside the earth and track where molten rock is moving beneath the surface. Keeping track of these observations can help inform public bodies, aiding their decision making and their planning of hazard mitigation strategies."
Want to hear more from our interview with Helena? Listen to our bonus interview episode on Patreon. This interview and many more are available to all of our patrons!