Volcanologist Joins Team to Study South Pacific Volcano Mt. Yasur


A geologist and vulcanologist from the University of Iowa Ingrid Ukstins join the team that has been studying mount Yasur, an active volcano in Vanuatu archipelago since 1999. She expects to gain more information to understand the volcanoes.

According to Iowa Now, a news service from the University of Iowa, Ukstin is the associate professor of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Iowa. She joined the team of researchers who has been studying mount Yasur in Tanna Island, Vanuatu for 18 years. The team was led by volcanoes expert Shane Cronin, a professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Mount Yasur volcano is a living laboratory because it has erupted for thousands of years, probably more than 20,000 years. A renowned British explorer Captain James Cook was the first person who observed the Yasur volcano in 1774. For the reason, professor Ukstins and her team joined professor Cronin to study the volcano and understanding how the volcanoes work.

“I was just very lucky to tag along, scientifically speaking,” professor Ukstins said. “If we can understand how Yasur works, we can understand better how other volcanoes work.”

Ukstins received her grant money from the University of Iowa International Programs and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Afterward, she formed her team to join professor Cronin last November in Yasur. She spent her days collecting samples spit out from the volcano as reported by Phys.org.

The focus of her research is the toxic gasses such as sulfur dioxide and fluorine from the samples of the mount Yasur. She expected to analyze the toxic gasses concentrated in the ejected materials and its differences from the lava inside the volcano. Ukstins has been studying volcanoes in Chile, China, Greenland, Hawaii, and Iceland before she became interested in studying an active volcano.

As an active volcano, Yasur has captivated many researchers and explorer to come and visit. Watch the documentation from a videographer Larry Richardson regarding the mount Yasur below: