Judy Fierstein of USGS to speak on the 100th anniversary of the 1912 Novarupta-Katmai eruption

April 23, 2012

Image of Katmai Complex courtesy of AVO/USGS

The Novarupta-Katmai Eruption of 1912 – Largest Eruption of the 20th Century: A Centennial Perspective


Judy Fierstein, Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


2 p.m. in the Elvey Auditorium, University of Alaska Fairbanks




7:30 p.m. in the Boyd Room, 201 Reichardt Building, University of Alaska Fairbanks


Free to the public



One hundred years ago this June, a three-day explosive eruption at Novarupta on the Alaska Peninsula near King Salmon became one of the five largest eruptions in recorded history. It created the spectacular Katmai caldera and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, which early explorers called the eighth wonder of the world. Preserved as a National Monument in 1918, and now part of Katmai National Park, the eruption created an outdoor laboratory that has captivated scientists and sightseers alike for 100 years. 


Katmai expert Judy Fierstein will tell the story of those three dramatic days and what has been learned from the 1912 eruption about large explosive events. Judy will explain how geologist “volcano detectives” explored and examined the eruption’s aftermath, how the eruption has remained scientifically important for 100 years, and why Katmai still offers insights about earth processes that shape our world. 



Judy Fierstein, research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, is known worldwide for her meticulous fieldwork on young, remote volcanoes in Alaska, the Cascades and the high Andes. Judy joined the USGS in 1980 just before the eruption of Mount St. Helens and began working in Katmai soon after. She received graduate and undergraduate degrees in Earth Science from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Judy is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and is highly regarded for engaging presentations about volcanoes and geologic fieldwork in wild places. 


This presentation is sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, and the Alaska Historical Society. For more information, please call: Jessica Larsen, UAF-Geophysical Institute, 907-474-7992. 


Photo of the Katmai complex, with Naknek Lake in the foreground, Mt. Griggs and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in the background. Photo by Cyrus Read. Image courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory and USGS.