Sunday, April 5, 2015


Anatahan Island before its catastrophic eruption.

The 30 minute video Volcanism explores one of the first topics covered in the national AP Environmental Science curriculum.  It begins by investigating the explosive volcanoes that border the "Ring of Fire" of the western Pacific.  It discusses not only the geological phenomena that give rise to volcanism, but it also examines the types of plants and animals that populate the slopes of tropical volcanoes.  In particular, the ecological sterilization that followed the catastrophic eruption of the island of Anatahan is considered.

From the Ring of Fire, the focus changes to the volcanoes of the Hawaiian Islands.  The development of lava tubes and the plants and animals that have colonized the Hawaiian Islands, from snow-covered summits to dry upper-volcano forests to mid-elevation rainforests are illustrated.  The focus then returns to the Ring of Fire and the volcanoes of the Indonesian islands.

Other topics explored include the role of tectonic plates and hot spots in the development of volcanoes, volcano types, seismic waves, volcanic extinction and the formation of volcanic plugs.  The video concludes by travelling to the very ancient southern Appalachian mountains for a preview of the next video in the series.

This video is to be made available through Bird Conservation Research .  Previous videos in the series are available for free download from the Video Library page.

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