Mt. Etna A Blast For Temple University Geologist
Posted: Friday, July 27, 2001
(Science Daily) Temple University geology professor Dr. Gene Ulmer sits in his home and closely watches the continued eruptions of Sicily’s Mt. Etna volcano on his television. "I wish I were still there," he says, wistfully.
Ulmer was there, watching from an erosional valley only three miles from Mt. Etna’s summit, when the volcano violently erupted and spewed forth ash and lava at 1:33 p.m. on June 19. "It was a very exciting moment," says Ulmer, who is now at home nursing an infection he picked up at Mt. Etna, but was in the nearby town of Nicolosi in June with one of his graduate students, Mark Manna, after attending an international meeting on geo-thermal and volcanic energy in Italy. "Within 10 minutes, there was such a dust cloud that everything was obscured. But what went on through the afternoon, it just sounded like continual thunder as the lava was booming its way out of the top of the volcano."
Ulmer and Manna are part of a team from Temple, Penn State, and Princeton Universities working on a National Science Foundation-funded research project to develop a sensor that can be used to monitor and predict such volcanic eruptions.
"That’s why we were in Italy at this meeting," he says. "Mark was presenting a paper on his thesis research." [More]
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