12 Mar 2014

Eruption machine

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 2:10 pm on 12 March 2014

In the old boiler room at Massey University in Palmerston North, the Tower of Doom waits to errupt. It's a nearly 16 metre tall machine created by the Volcanic Risk Solutions team to simulate erruptions. It's one of the first research projects of its kind in the world. Professor Shane Cronin and his team use tonnes of volcanic material collected from an eruption at Lake Taupo 2000 years ago for their experiments. With the data they collect from the Tower of Doom, they hope to create more accurate models to predict where dangerous debris will end up after an erruption, and answer some of the mysteries about how ash can travel so far so fast.