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Kilauea to star in BBC ‘Volcano Live’ series in July 16 March 2012

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The BBC likes to do big-budget live TV specials from time to time: they are of course very expensive and complicated, so the corporation has to choose its favoured subjects very carefully. Recently we’ve had natural history (Springwatch), astronomy (Stargazing), and little baby lambs (Lambing Live). The next big live BBC TV subject is a really big one: volcanoes. ‘BBC Two have decided to expand their unique broadcasting technique of commissioning live events with a Volcano Live series’ claims a remarkably illiterate and typo-ridden report at imediamonkey, making it seem that the BBC is actually going to go out there and commission a volcanic eruption. In fact BBC Two is taking the more sensible course of setting up the programme around a volcano that is already erupting, and which erupts in a reasonably predictable and safe way: Hawaii’s Kilauea.

The series will be broadcast in four parts from 9 to 12 July and will combine live reports from Kilauea with segments looking at the phenomenon of volcanism and exploring volcanoes around the world. Professor Iain Stewart (British television’s Mr Geology) and Kate Humble (British television’s Ms Natural History) will do the presenting. According to BBC Two controller Jane Hadlow, ‘Volcano Live will offer BBC Two viewers a rare opportunity to join world-class experts at the forefront of cutting-edge volcanology research. Broadcasting live from the edge of one of the world’s most active volcanoes over four days will offer a completely new and unique way of experiencing this powerful and unpredictable natural phenomenon’.

This is a high-profile project by the BBC which, if it puts the science in the foreground, has the potential to do a great deal for the public understanding of volcanoes and volcanology. Let’s hope it fulfils that potential. Let’s also hope that Kilauea doesn’t decide to end its current long-running eruption before the cameras arrive in July. That would be annoying.

News
BBC Two announces Volcano Live – BBC Two press release, 16 March 2012
BBC Two announces its latest live event series Volcano LiveTelevisual, 16 March 2012 (BBC press release recycled)
BBC Two to broadcast live from active volcano – imediamonkey, 16 March 2012 (BBC press release recycled, with added gibberish)

The Volcanism Blog

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Comments

1. bjdeming - 17 March 2012

I hope Kilauea gives the BBC a nice show. Hope they also discuss the recent earthquake swarm there (though that probably was tectonic), and it complicates volcano studying.

It might make for a less visually dramatic show if Kilauea did end its eruption during those four weeks, but maybe that would be a blessing in disguise: Scientists have ways to tell if a volcano is going to erupt, but there seem to be few details known yet about how and why eruptions end. Kilauea might yet have much to teach us that could help scientists and emergency officials estimate the length of an eruption somewhere that was causing severe problems for man…or at least provide us with a better idea of where to look for clues.

2. Beano - 19 March 2012

Hope they don’t invite Mr rent a disaster quote along. Bill McG.

3. Jón Frímann - 19 March 2012

Katla volcano may shake up BBC schedule.

4. Guillermo - 21 March 2012

Villarrica is showing a bit more stronger activity. According to POVI the incandescence is at its maximum of last 6 months.

In these webcams you can see the plume:
http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_villarrica.html
http://www2.sernageomin.cl/ovdas/ovdas7/webcam_villarrica2.html


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