The Science Behind Whakaari/White Island's Eruption : Short Wave The volcano of Whakaari or White Island in New Zealand erupted just over a week ago. More than a dozen people were killed, including tourists to the popular attraction. Volcanologist Alison Graettinger explains the science behind this particular eruption, a hydrothermal eruption and why they can be especially difficult to predict. Reach out to the show at shortwave@npr.org. Plus, keep the conversation going with host Maddie Sofia on Twitter — she's @maddie_sofia.

The Science Behind Whakaari/White Island's Eruption

The Science Behind Whakaari/White Island's Eruption

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WHITE ISLAND NEW ZEALAND, Dec. 10, 2019 — Photo taken on Dec. 9, 2019 shows the heavy smoke from volcanic eruption at New Zealand's White Island. Michael Schade/Xinhua/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Schade/Xinhua/Getty Images

WHITE ISLAND NEW ZEALAND, Dec. 10, 2019 — Photo taken on Dec. 9, 2019 shows the heavy smoke from volcanic eruption at New Zealand's White Island.

Michael Schade/Xinhua/Getty Images

The volcano of Whakaari or White Island in New Zealand erupted just over a week ago. More than a dozen people were killed, including tourists to the popular attraction. Volcanologist Alison Graettinger explains the science behind this particular eruption, a hydrothermal eruption and why they can be especially difficult to predict.

Reach out to the show at shortwave@npr.org.

Plus, keep the conversation going with host Maddie Sofia on Twitter — she's @maddie_sofia.

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and edited by Viet Le.