Modelling Ash Fall and Debris Flow Hazards of Mt Erebus, Antarctica
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Mt Erebus is a volcano in the Ross Sea that has been active since its first sighting in 1841 by Captain James Clark Ross. It consistently maintains an eruption plume and convecting lava lake of phonolitic composition, and regularly erupts as minor strombolian events. Prior to observations of Erebus beginning, major eruption events have occurred, with 2 plinian eruptions depositing ash up to 200km from the vent, and >43 eruptions depositing ash at least 7-12km from source. Using this information, three volcanic eruptions are modelled to predict ash fall using various wind speeds, and assuming an eruption plume of 7000m, and an erupted mass of 1x1010kg. It is observed that debris flows will most likely follow glacier paths as these already follow the lowest topographical route, while the eruption modelled with have little impact on Scott Base or McMurdo Station, unless optimal wind conditions occur.