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Ryan opens Fall 2019 Distinguished Speaker Series

The Fall 2019 Distinguished Speaker Series kicks off on September 6, 2019 with Dr. Michael Ryan (Pic above-center).

"House building, subdivision development and farming in (and below) the active rift zones of Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, island of Hawai’i: What could possibly go wrong?"

From May through August, 2018, Kilauea erupted from two sites with a pattern and vigor not seen in the past 200 years. Summit eruptions were characterized by repeated caldera collapse events that sent magma reservoir roof blocks into the molten reservoir below, triggering M 5.1 to 5.4 earthquakes and sending ash and ejecta skyward and surges of magma into east rift zone conduits. Some 38 km distant, voluminous lava eruptions within the lower east rift zone have devastated numerous communities, laying waste to houses, farms and coastal resorts. These distant and seemingly different eruptions are intimately connected and the talk will integrate their several interrelationships. Overlaid on Kilauea since Hawaiian statehood, is a settlement pattern that generates profound and growing volcanic risk. For Kilauea, the eruption impacts have been addressed by the USGS’s HVO, by the County of Hawaii Civil Defense, by the National Park Service, by FEMA and by the Red Cross. Both eruptions have impacted a large community of rattled or displaced citizens. In addition, Mauna Loa is currently slowly building towards eruption and it too contains rift zones that loom over recently settled areas, and contribute towards significant and now potentially more dangerous volcanic risk.

Dr. Michael P. Ryan PhD.   [B.Sci. and M.Sci., Michigan State University.   PhD, Geochemistry & Mineralogy and Engineering Mechanics, Pennsylvania State University.  Post-Doc Fellow:  Department of Mineral Sciences, Smithsonian Institution]. 

Ryan taught geology and geophysics at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He then worked as a research volcanologist for the US Geological Survey for 30 years.  He is currently with the Magma Physics Project in Hilo, Hawai’i. He has 45 years of experience in working on active volcanoes in Hawai’i, Iceland, Japan and the high Cascades of Washington & Oregon.

Join us for this inside look at rift zones in Hawai'i on Friday, September 6, 2019 at 12:30 PM in Room 204, Natural Science Building on the East Lansing Campus.


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