Course Details

942: Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and a Lava Lake

February 5, 7 & 9
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM


This three-session, multi-disciplinary study group will introduce students to volcanoes, earthquakes, and lava lakes. It will describe the relationship of earthquakes to volcanic eruptions. The study group will cover the regions where earthquakes and volcanoes occur, the difficulties of predicting eruptions and large damaging earthquakes, and the challenge of mitigating damage and loss of life. Case studies will be presented of the 2011 earthquake that did considerable damage to buildings—including the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral—in DC. The third lecture will discuss an open air experiment on the cooling and crystallization of basalt magma erupted into a pit crater in Hawaii.

Class Format: Lecture and Discussion

Hours of Reading: No reading

Study Group Leader(s):

Thomas Wright
Tom Wright is a volcanologist with a long career at the US Geological Survey. He currently coaches a graduate student journal club at Johns Hopkins University. He has been the scientist in charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, and is the author of numerous scientific articles.