Show Notes

What is a volcano?

No, seriously, what is a volcano? A lot of film critics at the time whiffed on this one and at least one or two of us were in the wrong too. Volcano:

A vent or fissure on the surface of a planet (usually in a mountainous form) with a magma chamber attached to the mantle of a planet or moon, periodically erupting forth lava and volcanic gases onto the surface.


La Brea tar pits

Predator/prey capture ratios. Biological activity causing the bubbling and subsequent discovery of a bunch of different bacterai that live in there. Larger things we find fossilized there:

  • Sabretooth tigers
  • Mammoths
  • Giant feline
  • looooooooads more

Fault lines

The different fault types and which of them tend to manifest volcanoes. Spoiler alert: LA has a transform fault which is the kind that is really really really unlikely to sprout a volcano under normal conditions. Transform faults

Volcano detection

Major monitoring methods looking out for pending eruptions:

  • Seisimic activity
  • Gas!
  • Groundswell - actual deformation of the landscape from the pressure


Pyroclastic flow vs lava. The eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. Casting the cavities that surrounded trapped bodies. Cast of a pompeii body

Volcanic dangers

Volcanic ash, which is often basically just teeny tiny glass for you to breathe in. Lava temperatures: between holy shit hot and omg holy shit hot.  Lava weather systems. Gasses! Lava fountains.


Dams! Backwards or otherwise. The Decade List.


  • Volcano: iTunes | Amazon
  • Experiencing a volcanic shockwave: YouTube
  • From the movie: a human being melting directly and immediately into mere inches of lava: YouTube
  • fault lines, 
  • geology, 
  • paleontology, 
  • pyroclastic flow, 
  • science, 
  • science fiction, 
  • volcanoes