Lecture explores century of study of Novarupta eruption
A view up the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes from the Overlook Cabin above Three Forks in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The valley is filled with up to 200 meters of ash-flow deposits from the 1912 eruption of Novarupta Volcano. The rim of Katmai Caldera is on the skyline at left.
Photograph by G. McGimsey, USGS
Fairbanks, Alaska—One hundred years ago this June, a three-day explosive eruption at Novarupta on the Alaska Peninsula near King Salmon became one of the five largest eruptions in recorded history. It created the spectacular Katmai caldera and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, which early explorers called the eighth wonder of the world. Preserved as a national monument in 1918, and now part of Katmai National Park, the eruption created an outdoor laboratory that has captivated scientists and sightseers alike for a century.
On April 25 at 7:30 p.m., Katmai expert Judy Fierstein will tell the story of those three dramatic days and what the 1912 eruption revealed about large explosive events. In “The Novarupta-Katmai Eruption of 1912 – Largest Eruption of the 20th Century: A Centennial Perspective,” Fierstein will explain how geologist “volcano detectives” examined the eruption’s aftermath. Fierstein will also explain how the eruption has remained scientifically important for 100 years and why Katmai still offers insights about the processes that shape our world.
Fierstein, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, is known worldwide for her meticulous fieldwork on young, remote volcanoes in Alaska, the Cascades and the high Andes. She joined the USGS in 1980, just before the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and began working in Katmai soon after. Fierstein is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and is known for engaging presentations about volcanoes and geologic fieldwork in wild places.
The free lecture will be held in the Boyd Room, Reichardt 201, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Parking is available directly behind the building. This presentation is sponsored by the USGS, the National Park Service and the Alaska Historical Society