Earth scientist Alisha Clark of Northwestern University is available to discuss the science behind Sunday’s deadly volcanic eruption in Guatemala.

Clark is a postdoctoral fellow in Northwestern’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. In her research, she runs high-pressure and high-temperature experiments to understand how pressure builds in volcanic systems.

Quote from Alisha Clark:
“The eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano produced pyroclastic flows, and this type of eruption is particularly devastating for life.

Pyroclastic flows are a mixture of hot gases (reaching up to 1,000-degrees Celsius) and rocky particulates, such as ash, that are ejected during eruption and flow down the flanks of the volcano. Unlike the flowing lava coming out of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano that flows slower than people can move, pyroclastic flows can reach speeds up to 700 kilometers per hour. This makes evacuation extremely difficult -- if not impossible.”

Clark can be reached at [email protected]