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Volcanic simulation teaches Earth Sciences students crisis management skills

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Imagine a scenario where a volcano is about to erupt and you are responsible for deciding what to do next. Who should be alerted and who needs to be evacuated? Where and when might lava start flowing? How dangerous will the gas and ash emissions be?

This is what Earth Sciences 421 students experienced during a five-hour volcano simulation exercise in early December.

Imagine a scenario where a volcano is about to erupt and you are responsible for deciding what to do next. Who should be alerted and who needs to be evacuated? Where and when might lava start flowing? How dangerous will the gas and ash emissions be?

This is what Earth Sciences 421 students experienced during a five-hour volcano simulation exercise in early December.

Initially developed at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, the simulation received a Canadian spin from earth sciences professor Glyn Williams-Jones and postdoctoral fellow Jeffrey Zurek, thanks to a grant from SFU’s Teaching and Learning Centre.

“We substituted Mt. Meager near Pemberton, B.C. as the live volcano and adapted the data to fit the style of activity we would expect from Mt. Meager—something similar to the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens” says Williams-Jones.

 

Continue reading at Simon Fraser University.

Image via Simon Fraser University.