LISTEN: Studying volcano eruptions deep underwater with Hermann Fritz

Friday, August 17, 2018
Hermann Fritz helping install the Volcanic Tsunami Generator at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory at Oregon State University earlier this summer. (Photo: Angela Del Rosario / Courtesy: Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure)
Hermann Fritz helping install the Volcanic Tsunami Generator at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory at Oregon State University earlier this summer. (Photo: Angela Del Rosario / Courtesy: Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure)
 

Professor Hermann Fritz has spent the summer traveling between Atlanta and Corvallis, Oregon, building a new one-of-a-kind tool for his landslide research.

Fritz and colleagues from Oregon State University have been installing a mini volcano at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory to study underwater volcanic eruptions that cause landslides and tsunamis. It’s likely the first lab-based volcanic tsunami generator in the world.

The tsunamis are rare and difficult to study — researchers can’t really observe the effects of such an eruption — so the National Science Foundation-supported lab experiments will answer key questions about the kinds of waves created by underwater volcanic activity and how they compare to other landslide- or earthquake-generated tsunamis.

Fritz discussed the project and his career trying to better understand tsunamis on the DesignSafeRadio podcast with Dan Zehner.

Listen to their conversation: