Volcanic debris avalanches in a landscape context

Kristin Sweeney, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, University of Portland

The field of volcano geomorphology lies at the boundary between human-scale hazard management and millennial-scale landscape evolution. Volcanic debris avalanches, usually characterized by partial or complete sector collapse, both pose a significant hazard and have the potential to produce long-term landscape signatures. While thousands of these events have been identified globally, their landscape evolution impact is rarely discussed. In this talk, I discuss over 40 years of monitoring the sedimentary and erosional impacts of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and volcanic debris avalanche, including new analysis of archival aerial photography. I then zoom out to examine six VDA case studies spanning a range of topographic confinement, climatic conditions, and magmatic flux, and hypothesize how topography and climate conspire to affect the duration of landscape impacts and deposit preservation. 

Host: Claire Masteller

By joining department-hosted virtual colloquia, you agree to uphold our code of conduct for Zoom sessions.

Register to receive Zoom details