Iowa geologist studying volcano that's been erupting for centuri - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa geologist studying volcano that's been erupting for centuries

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An up close look at a volcano that's been erupting for hundreds of years.

That's what an Iowa researcher is doing.

Ingrid Ukstins is a geologist at the University of Iowa. 

She's trying to better understand how volcanoes work. She's studied volcanoes all over the world, but now she's getting up close to an active one.

She traveled to an island in the remote South Pacific to look at a volcano that's been erupting since at least 1774.

It spews out flamming masses, or "bombs" that can sometimes be the size of a small car.

The University of Iowa says she wants to learn more about the volcano's toxic gases, magma chamber, and it's eruptions.

The samples she collected are now back at the University of Iowa. 

After she got back, Ukstins told the university what it was like working there. She said it was a jungle, and "there were spiders as big as tennis balls."  

The geologist is also studying how the gasses the volcano produces may be affecting people who live nearby.

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