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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Volcanoes of the Western Aleutians

A Cradle of Continents

Evening Program

Monday, February 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1A0102

Cottrell collects volcanic samples on the flank of Sugarloaf Peak, Semisopochnoi Island, Western Aleutians, Alaska (Photo: Michelle Coombs)

As essential to Earth’s planetary identity as liquid water, continents are found on no other planet known to us. Yet their origins remain one of the great unsolved mysteries of earth and planetary science. Today, one location on the planet has been called a “continental nursery”—the line of active volcanoes in the Western Aleutians.

Join research geologist and curator Liz Cottrell of the Natural History Museum as she recounts her 2015 journey to the middle of the Bering Sea to explore active volcanic features previously unknown to science. From World War II foxholes to sulfurous fumaroles, Cottrell shares stories from her Arctic expedition in search of critical samples that promise to bring scientists closer to understanding how Earth came to be the unique planet we live on today.

Inside Science

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