Seas of Hawaiʻi

Hawai’i is an amazing place. And not just for volcanologists. This is a world-on-an-island, with (apart from the most accessible eruptions in the world) Mars-sized mountains, pristine beaches, coral reefs, a world class city for shopaholics and night owls, rain forest with world-class mosquitos, desert, archaeology, astronomy, volcanoes, agriculture, flying fish and diving birds. It…

The Tragic Underestimation of Tornadoes and The Potential Dismissal of Volcanoes

Guest post from Tallis Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a fascination with meteorology, Thunderstorms in particular, but the entire science as a whole. I am a self-taught weather person, who has read books, watched lectures and talked to storm chasers about their interests. While volcanoes are almost as interesting to me,…

Future calderas

Volcanoes erupt all the time. It may seem a quiet time to us but that is because most eruptions are small and low impact, and stay below the radar. An excellent daily overview can be found on http://lechaudrondevulcain.com/blog-spotlight-two-column/ As I write this, it lists on-going eruptions at Sinabung, Etna, Stromboli, and Sabancaya. Volcanodiscovery also lists…

The Heimaey story

Heimaey is famous. It is the only place in Iceland known to have first been settled by non-Vikings: the first inhabitants were escaped Irish slaves, before 900 AD, who didn’t last long. Much later it suffered a devastating slave raid. And of course, it has an elephant. But all that history pales in comparison to…

The 3 x 4½ km summit caldera of Mount Katmai, Alaska, that formed after the 1912 VEI 6 Novarupta eruption (Wiki)

Calderas

This is a re-post that has been re-posted before. But we attract new readers and sometimes it is worth republishing something. Especially since this is about Icelandic (and other) calderas, something that has been raised in the comments recently. This post was originally written during the Holuhraun eruption and associated Bardarbunga collapse, and you will…

The Hotness of Grimsvötn

As far as volcanoes go, we like to think of them as immutable giants that rarely if ever change. We like to see Grimsvötn as a glacier covered giant of a volcano, that almost always produce moderate ashy eruptions, that are relatively speaking short-lived. Yes, once upon a blue moon it will do something big,…

The Penitentes of Mount Rainier

Of all the volcanoes of the Cascades, Mount Rainier is the tallest. It towers over the surrounding mountains and dominates the horizon even in distant Seattle. But being tall in an oceanic climate can have unwanted consequences. When it rains in Seattle, here it snows, and the snow does not melt easily. Mount Rainier has…

Nishinoshima – The Seminal Eruption

Nishinoshima is in many ways the perfect volcano, it is constantly doing firsts, and spectacular and unusual things. Normally volcanologists would gather nearby and play lip-banjo at its antics. But since it is far out into the ocean and is so inaccessible most miss this beauty of a beast. In November and December of 2013,…

Okmok versus the Roman republic

Okmok is a known hazard. The volcano occupies its own half of Umnak, an isolated part of the Aleutian islands. Okmok is possibly the most active of the 40-odd Aleutian volcanoes. Over the past 8600 years it has produced over 50 ash layers from separate explosions, and minor eruptions happen every other decade. AVO has…

Volcano ecology

Space is a precious resource. We hoard it and guard it. Together with air, water, warmth and tomato ketchup, it is one of the essential ingredients for life. We are happy to share empathy, food, and money, but letting someone else invade our personal space is a big step well beyond that. Social distancing is…