February 9-10, 2018 | Free and Open to the Interested Public


‘The Great Day of His Wrath’, John Martin, 1851

One of the two most severe and long cold periods of the past few thousand years began abruptly in 536 CE.  The cold lasted for many years, and suppressed evaporation of water from oceans, therefore reducing precipitation resulting in droughts in many areas of the world.  The cause evidently was immense volcanic eruptions. In this symposium, we will explore the controversy over which volcanoes were the instigators as well as the historical and religious consequences of the climate changes due to the eruptions.

-Click here for a full Symposium Program-

Keynote Address, Friday 7PM (Benson Earth Sciences Rm 180):

Clive Oppenheimer: The Long-range Consequences of Volcanic Eruptions

Dr. Oppenheimer is a professor of volcanology at the OppenheimerUniversity of Cambridge and founding member of the Cambridge Department of Volcanology. His work is wide-ranging and extends far beyond magmatic and volcanic processes. In addition to his continued study of active volcanoes around the globe, Dr. Oppenheimer researches large eruptions of the past and their climatological and society impacts.  He explores this relationship between explosive volcanism and civilization in his 2011 book "Eruptions that Shook the World".

Saturday Speakers, 8:15AM - 5:00PM (Benson Earth Sciences Rm 180):
Payson Sheets: Introduction, nature of stress, impacts, and controversies
Tom Casadevall: Huge Explosive Eruptions: Their nature and effects.
Kees Noreen: Timing and impact of El Chichon’s mid-6th century eruption
Robert Dull: The magnitude 7 eruption of Ilopango: Environmental impacts on the Classic Period Maya and the world
Kyle Harper: The Ice Age Cometh: The 536 Event as a Turning Point in Roman History
John Haldon: On 536 CE and the Rise of Islam 
Terry Kleeman: Ash fell from a cloudless sky: Chinese Records of the 536 CE Event 

Please email originsinfo@colorado.edu with any questions.