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From domes to disease? The unique hazard of volcanic dome collapse

Dr Claire Horwell, University of Durham

Friday 14 June 2013, 1300-1400
Lecture Theatre 5, Management School Building

Claire Horwell will discuss how volcanic lava domes pose a unique hazard to local communities. Lava domes are inherently unstable, collapsing periodically and generating fine volcanic ash as the lava fragments within pyroclastic density currents. This fine ash is rich in cristobalite, a form of crystalline silica that is capable of causing fatal lung diseases when inhaled. As the toxicity of crystalline silica is known to be variable, Claire's work uses mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry and toxicology to explore whether volcanic silica is pathogenic.

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