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Anderson co-authors paper at conference in England

Dr. Steve Anderson, associate professor of geology at Black Hills State University, co-authored a paper that was recently presented at a conference in England.

The paper "Development of tumuli in the medial portion of the 1983 flow-field, Mount Etna, Sicily" was presented at the Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Annual Meeting at the University of Lancaster, U.K. Colleagues Anderson collaborated with on this work are Dr. Angus Duncan, University of Luton, U.K.; Dr. John Guest, University College London, U.K.; Dr. Ellen Stofan, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Dr. Harry Pinkerton, University of Lancaster, U.K.; and Dr. Sonia Calvari, Instituto Internazionale di Vulcanologia, Italy.

The scientists' research is a result of an ongoing project to determine how changes in volcanic behavior affect the formation of lava-flow surface structures.

Anderson explained, “The surface of an active lava flow responds to changes in the rate at which a volcano erupts. The surface features that we are studying are called "tumuli", which are a characteristic bumpy, fractured surface that forms as lava erupts from the volcano at low rates. Therefore, by looking at what kind of features form on a lava flow surface, we can figure out eruption rates.”

The BH geologist says this is useful research data for trying to figure out eruption rates for prehistoric volcanoes or volcanoes on other planets such as Mars.

Anderson returned this fall from a one-year teaching sabbatical at the University of Arizona and is currently teaching and serving as chairman of the university's science department. He has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 1991. He completed his doctorate in geology from Arizona State University in 1990.

Anderson's participation in this project was funded in part by the BHSU Faculty Research Committee.

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