At four stories tall and 30-metres wide, this seemingly ordinary hill holds a deceptive secret. Don’t stand too close when the ground begins to shake and that rumble turns to a roar! As another Icelandic volcano made news just last week, HOW TO BUILD A VOLCANO explores one of the largest, most violent natural phenomenons in the world – by seeking to replicate it. Premiering Thursday, June 30 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel, this one-hour Canadian special follows a team of Canadian, British and American scientists who – with the help of a hotshot Hollywood special effects team – build and erupt a model volcano, testing and replicating the volatile processes that drive eruptions to answer some of volcanology’s biggest questions.
As the 2010 eruption at Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland revealed – halting global travel for days – the ability to forecast volcanic cataclysms is very much in its infancy. Despite increasingly sophisticated technology, volcanologists still haven’t got a clue as to exactly when an eruption will happen, what form it will take, or how long it will last.
HOW TO BUILD A VOLCANO follows an international team of scientists – working with a Hollywood SFX crew – as they design and build a carefully scaled four-story high, 30-metre wide fully-functional “volcano.” The team conducts research in global volcanic hotspots, such as Stromboli and Mt St Helens, and then the real fun begins.
In a series of spectacular eruptions, they use their model to test cutting-edge scientific theories. With this engineered volcano, containing simulative magma, the experts test every component of the model and force eruptions using high-pressure gases and SFX explosives, recreating the volatile processes that drive natural eruptions. Controlling and experimenting with the variables of pressure, gas and magma, it’s a thrilling high-stakes process building to the ultimate destructive blow out.