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The Life and Times of Supervolcanoes

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Hutton Theatre

Expert talk

Sitting astride the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, New Zealand is prone to earthquakes. But Aotearoa is also dotted with cones and calderas, and Kiwis should keep in mind that the Taupō Eruption was actually the world’s most violent volcanic eruption in the last 5000 years!

Colin Wilson has gathered many accolades for studying volcanoes, and in particular those giant examples known as supervolcanoes. He likens his work to that of a crime scene investigator, where he travels the world piecing together the dual puzzle of why such cataclysmic explosions occur, and why they are joined by much smaller eruptions. He aims to forecast volcanic phenomena with enough warning so that communities can respond. But although Colin is digging deep in the Earth’s crust to find the triggering mechanisms, volcanic systems are not letting their secrets go easily…

Royal Society Te Apārangi is proud to partner with GNS Science, EQC and Victoria University of Wellington in presenting the 2018 New Zealand Rutherford Lecture. Strong support from these organisations comes from the belief that New Zealanders will greatly benefit both from learning about, and gaining a better awareness of, this "sleeping" giant in our midst. Professor Wilson will explain the nature of supervolcanoes, the ways in which such volcanoes operate and can be studied, and whether the next eruption is still likely to take us by surprise.

5.30pm, Thursday 26 July
Hutton Theatre
Book at Eventbrite