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Volcano expert jets to Iceland for TV film

30 April 2010

Eyjafjallajökull volcano BU Professor evaluates Iceland volcanoes for Channel 4 documentary.

BU’s resident volcanologist, Professor Nick Petford, will feature in a documentary to be screened by Channel 4 in the UK on Sunday 2 May.

‘The Volcano That Stopped Britain’ (10.00pm) explores the geological and scientific headlines behind the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano which disrupted air space over Britain and parts of Europe for several days in April of this year.

Channel 4 commissioned Pioneer Productions to make the fast turnaround programme. Professor Petford himself was travelling in China on behalf of the University when flights in and out of Britain ceased. He was contacted by Pioneer about the possibility of assisting with the documentary and within 24 hours was on his way to Iceland, flying across the Pacific Ocean and continental United States to reach his destination.

After touching down in Reykjavik, Professor Petford travelled to the area around the erupting Eyjafjallajökull volcano and its ‘angry sister’ Katla which is showing signs of activity.

He was filmed evaluating both volcanoes from a helicopter and visiting with local farmers and other residents about the effects of the eruption on their lives and businesses.

Professor Petford is widely-known around the world for his expertise in volcanology. His research work embraces field investigations and mathematical modelling of the flow of molten rock, or magma.

More recently, he has also worked closely with the British and British Foreign and International Development Offices to support the regeneration of the Caribbean island of Montserrat which is recovering from a series of eruptions by the Soufriere Hills volcano which rumbled into life in 1995.

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