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Posted 8/26/2014

Release no. 14-042


By Stephen Satkowski
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Far East District Public Affairs

SEOUL, South Korea - Dr. Pak Chun-pom, chief of the district’s data management section, visited Mount Baekdu, an active volcano on the border of North Korea and China Aug. 14 and 15. A geologist by trade and a specialist in volcanic chemistry, Pak advised and helped lead a team of Korean Geologists on the expedition.

“One thousand years ago this mountain had one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in all of Asia,” said Pak.  “To know the volcanic characteristics of this area we have to study its volcanic rocks.” “That’s why we’re here.”

Pak is part of the Korean Geologists Expedition group, a team of geologists in the Republic of Korea who travel to various sites to gain insight and information on volcanic activity.

“There was an earthquake underneath Mount Baekdu 10 years ago which caused many to believe it would erupt again,” said Pak. “The information we gather from trips like these will help us predict future eruptions,” said Pak.

Pak grew up in Jeju, a volcanic island on the southern end of the Korean peninsula and has studied volcanic activity on Dokdo, an island located east of the peninsula. At Mount Baekdu he used this experience to provide advice on how and where to collect samples.

“I told them which exact location should be sampled and helped them collect each one,” said Pak. “I will also help review the team’s final research paper once we are finished.”

Pak said the training he has received at the district provided him with new tools to lead his team of geologists.

“I was able to apply what I learned from our district leadership workshop on this trip,” said Pak. “Everyone had different ideas on how to get the information we need. I was able to organize our team based on my leadership training experience at the district.”