Breakthrough: The Volcano Trekker


When volcanoes erupt, gases blast from the earth in fast-moving pyroclastic flows destroying everything in their path. Torrents of molten magma create new landscapes. Massive calderas launch explosive boulders miles away.But how do these destructive forces work? Scientists don’t have a full picture yet. It is currently impossible to fully understand the geochemical forces that lead to these destructive scenarios. But what if we could unravel this mystery by examining millennia-old cooled rocks and soils from these same eruptions?

Kayla Iacovino—part science fiction sleuth, part mountaineer—is doing just that. By hiking mountainous terrain or meandering through a city built on a dormant volcanic crater, the volcanologist collects rock samples from across the world in order to better understand the forces that created them. At her experimental petrology lab at Jacobs-NASA Johnson Space Center, she subjects these samples to extreme pressure and temperature in “mini magma chambers” to recreate the conditions under which they formed. Ultimately, understanding how the molten materials deep within the Earth became rocks provides Iacovino insights about the overall geological makeup and origins of Earth.

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Title: Breakthrough: The Volcano Trekker

Format: Video

Clean of Graphics: No

Type: Segment

Subject(s): Science, Technology

Public Broadcasting Station or Institution: Science Friday

Original Broadcast/Publish Date: 09/18/2020

Runtime: 00:10:25

Main Asset File Size: 4.02 GB

Rights Information:

  • Media Rights: All manner and media
  • Territory (*Please note: all internet exploitation of this program must be geo-limited to the specified territory): Worldwide
  • Term: In perpetuity
  • Releases: Unlimited
  • Editing Allowed?: No
  • Digital Classroom Rights: Yes
  • Promotional Use: Yes

Sensitive Material: N/A

Special Instructions: N/A

Language: English


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