History of Öræfajökull

Iceland has ice. Glaciers cover 10% of its landscape, including its highest volcanoes. Of its frequent eruptors, only Hekla is (almost) ice free. Katla, Bardarbunga, and Grimsvötn, which together account for the large majority of eruptions, are all hidden underneath ice sheets, which gives problems studying the volcanoes themselves. But a more serious issue is…

Öraefajökull – A challenge for volcanology

A couple of years ago I was asked on a radio show which volcano in Iceland I wanted least to erupt. I quickly answered Öraefajökull. It confused everyone, and I got bogged down in explaining why an unknown (to the layman) volcano would be that bad. It is though true, if there is a single…

Making a Map

A quick overview of my current VCMap project, which can currently be found at http://www.volcanocafe.org/vcmap I would like to start off by thanking Spike Page for being the inspiration for this project.  A couple of weeks ago, Spike wrote on Spike’s Facebook page asking for someone to test out a Google Earth file. This file…

Warning signs

Volcanoes are often a cause of concern, worry, and adrenalinic excitement. But sometimes they just make us smile – and perhaps think. Enjoy. Volcano happiness Volcano danger Volcanomics Volcano driving Volcano management Volcano lighting Volcano phonics Safety in volcanoes A Lurking special The final word

Saving the Earth with asteroids

The dinosaurs would disagree. After owning the Earth, they were now in a bit of a bother. A major re-arrangement of the Earth had taken place. Pangea had split; Gondwana was broken up. The Indian ocean had formed but not in a clean way: a number of parallel rifts were running through Africa, and the…

Krakatoa skies: when the Sun turned blue

Just after 4pm, the phones started ringing at the Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill. Caller after caller reported seeing the sun. The date was September 27, 1950, and the place was Edinburgh, Scotland. Seeing the sun in Scotland can be a bit of a rarity, but even the Scots knew that the sun should not…

The Ruminarian, again

By GeoLurking, January 8, 2014 (republished) Curmudgeon “an ill-tempered person full of stubborn ideas or opinions” Well, if the shoe fits, I guess I’ll wear it. But… I don’t come about it lightly. To me, stuff has to make sense. One thing I abhor is mindless ranting that is specifically intended to scare people. What…

Europe’s tallest volcano: Mount Elbrus

How can you hide a volcano? Apparently, making it the highest mountain on the continent is a good start. Mount Elbrus is both Europe’s tallest mountain and Europe’s highest working volcano. The first fact is commonly recognized, and can be readily found on-line and off-line, but the second fact is harder to locate. While Mont…

Baekdu and how I learned to love the bomb

There is a weird beauty to the blueprints for the Tsar Bomba design by Babayev-Sacharov-Trutnev. Never before, nor after, have a bomb reached that level of engineering perfection. It is to date both the largest, and the cleanest, nuclear device detonated. Compared to the inherently flawed Ulam-Teller design and its derivatives used by the US,…

A Super-pooping Supervolcano?

Apologies, a post about Ambae was due today, but it’s been put back to next week now (hopefully). Originally written by Carl back in January 2014, this is a repost from the archives. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil It is said that within great…