Available for school showings on selected dates through June 21, 2012. To reserve seats for your class, call (585) 697-1942. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.
Produced in 1991 and first shown at the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium in 1995, this giant-screen classic takes students close to the great circle of volcanoes and seismic activity that rings the Pacific Ocean. Ring of Fire is about these immense natural forces and the varied people and cultures who coexist with them. A team of geologists, anthropologists, computer animators and filmmakers worked for over seven years on this ambitious film project which explores the great boundary in the earth's crust where more than three-fourths of the world's active volcanoes are located.
Spectacular volcanic eruptions are featured, including Mount St. Helens, Navidad in Chile, Sakurajima in Japan, and Mount Merapi in Indonesia. Extensive aerial photography and computer animation help tell the story of the geologic forces that impact the ring. As dense plumes of ash explode up into the sky, students witness the birth of a new volcano in southern Chile. In Indonesia, the most volcanic nation on earth, miners risk their lives to recover sulfur from the notorious slopes of Kawah Ijen. Students will see the annual evacuation drill on the Japanese volcanic island of Sakurajima on the anniversary of the cataclysmic eruption of 1914. The Sakurajima volcano is still acive, menacing the 7000 townspeople with frequent ashfalls.
The great circle of volcanoes surrounding the Pacific Ocean is related to tectonic processes. Large, rigid plates that fit together like a puzzle make up Earth's outermost layer. These plates overlie a mantle of much hotter rock surrounding Earth's core. This layer is hot enough to melt rock; the melted rock is called magma. As the heavier plates of the Pacific seafloor sink beneath the lighter continental plates, they being to melt the overlying rocks. Buoyancy forces the magma toward the surface, forming and filling magma chambers that feed overlying volcanoes which erupt periodically.
For more information
The U. S. Geological Survey offers information and short video clips about volcanoes and earthquakes. Start at http://education.usgs.gov and explore from there. Depending on your web browser and computer setup, you may find the videos easier to view on the USGS YouTube channel, http://youtube.com/usgs.