GSL Public Lecture: Engaging geoscience for diplomacy – understanding Paektu volcano in North Korea with James Hammond.

Mount Paektu is an active volcano which straddles the international border between China and North Korea (DPRK: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). The so-called Millennium Eruption of the volcano in 946 CE was one of the largest eruptions in recorded history – ranking alongside Thera (Santorini, Greece), Taupo (New Zealand) and Tambora (Indonesia). However, its location has largely hampered study to date.

In 2002, earthquakes, ground deformation and gas release pointed to a reawakening of the volcano, initiating a drive to monitor and understand it. In an unprecedented collaboration, hailed as a landmark achievement in science diplomacy, an international team from North Korea, China, the US and the UK have been studying the volcano since 2011.

This involved the deployment of an array of seismometers to image the magma beneath the volcano and the collection of geological samples for analysis of past-erupted deposits. In this lecture, James will discuss the scientific highlights of this unique project, as well as exploring how geoscience is uniquely placed for this kind of science diplomacy.

Reading List

Hammond, J. O. S., Wu, J-P., Kyong-Song, R., Wei, W., Young Gun, Y. and Oppenheimer, C., (2020). Distribution of partial melt beneath Paektu/Changbaishan Volcano, China/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., doi:10.1029/2019GC008461

Hammond, J. O. S., (2016). Understanding volcanoes in isolated locations: engaging Diplomacy for Science, Science and Diplomacy, 5,

Kyong-Song, R., Hammond, J. O. S., Chol-Nam, K., Hyok, K., Young-Gun, Y., Kil-Jong, K, Chol-Song, R., Oppenheimer, C., Liu, K. W., Iacovino, K., Kum-Ran, R., (2016). Evidence for partial melt in the crust beneath Mt. Paektu (Changbaishan), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and China, Science Advances, 2, doi:10.1126/sciadv.1501513

Oppenheimer, C., Wacker, L., Xu, J., Galván, J.D., Stoffel, M., Guillet, S., Corona, C., Sigl, M., Di Cosmo, N., Hajdas, I. and Pan, B., (2017). Multi-proxy dating the ‘Millennium Eruption’ of Changbaishan to late 946 CE. Quaternary Science Reviews, 158, pp.164-171.

Pan, B., de Silva, S.L., Xu, J., Chen, Z., Miggins, D.P. and Wei, H., (2017). The VEI-7 Millennium eruption, Changbaishan-Tianchi volcano, China/DPRK: New field, petrological, and chemical constraints on stratigraphy, volcanology, and magma dynamics. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 343, pp.45-59.

Stone, R., 2011. Vigil at North Korea's mount doom. Science, 334, doi:10.1126/science.334.6056.584

Stone, R., 2013. Sizing up a slumbering giant. Science, 341, doi:10.1126/science.341.6150.1060

Xu, J., Liu, G., Wu, J., Ming, Y., Wang, Q., Cui, D., Shangguan, Z., Pan, B., Lin, X. and Liu, J., (2012). Recent unrest of Changbaishan volcano, northeast China: A precursor of a future eruption?. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(16).

Further reading from the Geological Society Publishing House:

• Free for a limited time – Building the future of the geoscience community in Asia: CCOP beyond history and borders

• The acid crater lake of Taal Volcano, Philippines: hydrogeochemical and hydroacoustic data related to the 2010–11 volcanic unrest

• Free for a limited time – Silicic volcanism in the Scottish Lower Carboniferous; lavas, intrusions and ignimbrites of the Garleton Hills Volcanic Formation, SE Scotland

• Structural controls on the location, geometry and longevity of an intraplate volcanic system: the Tuatara Volcanic Field, Great South Basin, New Zealand

• Revision of the Azorean catalogue of tsunamis

• Open Access – A multi-disciplinary investigation of the AFEN Slide: the relationship between contourites and submarine landslides

• Open Access – Effects of rotational submarine slump dynamics on tsunami genesis: new insight from idealized models and the 1929 Grand Banks event

• Fault geometry, segmentation and slip distribution associated with the 1939 Erzincan earthquake rupture along the North Anatolian fault, Turkey

Books: These books will be reduced in our last bookshop sale this year starting on MONDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2020.

For a full list of the titles on sale visit our Online Bookshop: