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How the Earth Works

S1-E4 Will Hawaii Sink LA?

S1-E4 Will Hawaii Sink LA?



A few years ago, there was scaremongering in the press when a scientist reported that a chunk of La Palma in the Canary Islands could collapse into the Atlantic, causing a tsunami that might destroy the Caribbean and the Eastern seaboard of the USA. Now it's California's turn to worry (as if they didn't have enough to contend with, witness the recent Napa earthquake).

Mark Pepper and Liz Bonnin are on Hawaii’s Big Island, revelling in the lava flows oozing from the Kilauea volcano – “It’s like being in a furnace,” gasps Bonnin – and abseiling down waterfalls to see how abundant rainfall is making the rock rust. And they visit the well-named Hilina Slump, a huge chunk of Kilauea’s slope that’s slowly sliding to the sea. If it cracks…


Liz Bonin and Martin Pepper travel to Hawaii to investigate how evidence of catastrophic events in its geological past reveals a legacy of destruction.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Liz Bonin
Presenter Martin Pepper


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