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VOICE OF THE SEA: Tracking Lava Flows with the USGS

In this episode, we meet USGS geologists, Matt Patrick and Tristan McDonald, on Hawaiʻi Island. Matt and Tristan show us what it is like to track an active lava flow. Then we head to the lab at the Univeristy of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, on Oʻahu, to learn how scientists Julia Hammer, Thomas Shea, and Samantha Jacob recreate volcanic conditions.

Watch the 30-second promo for this episode or view more Voice of the Sea episodes at voiceofthesea.org.

Want more about volcanoes in Hawaiʻi? Check out these online extras from this episode of Voice of the Sea:

  • Vocanoes! (19 minutes) USGS scientist Matt Patrick and volunteer Tristan McDonald share aspects of the Kalapna lava flow on Hawaiʻi Island and talk about what it's like to study active volcanoes. 
  • Volcanoes In The Lab. (17 minutes) Researchers Julia Hammer and Thomas Shea show how they replicate volcanic activities in the laboratory. Their equipment puts materials at pressure up to 3,000 times atmospheric pressure. In addition to other applications, their work helps marine biologists understand the origin of the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Volcanic Crystals. (27 minutes) Graduate student Samantha Jacob shows off some of the amazing and beautiful crystals that grow in Hawaiian lava. Her work in Julia Hammer's volcano lab at UH is discovering some interesting patterns of crystal growth!

Special Feature Type:

Voice of Sea Episode: 
Tracking Lava Flows with the USGS
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.