Two cats (one live, one dead) and a volcano.  Photo by Giorgos Katsavos

The Quantum Volcanologist

Physiology has a dog; physics has a cat. Pavlov’s dog was a sad animal, lying in its cage with wires attached both inside and out, alive but not as we know it. I know – I have been in his lab when the place was called Leningrad. The dog was still there, or at least…

Hekla resting under a snowcap waiting for the next eruption.

Debunked: Feeling the strain

Why on earth am I using the term ”debunked” about a piece of equipment that is used by scientists across the globe? The answer is quite simple, it is when laymen start interpreting them that they are overused, or used in ways they were never intended. And this causes a plethora of faulty reasoning and…

Napoleon's march through the volcanic Russian winter

Volcanohistology: when eruptions make a difference

Volcanoes are frightening. They can dramatically alter the local landscape, and change people’s live – normally for the worse. The best place to be is far away. But large eruptions can have wider impacts. The ash can cover regions a continent away, and sulphate aerosols can spread at high altitude around the world. The sulphate…

Satellite image of Candlemas Island. IMAGE: Landsat 8/EOS Data Analytics. Annotated by René Goad.

South Sandwich Islands: volcanic arc in a polar climate

The last time I wrote an article for Volcanocafe it was a guest post about the Galapagos Islands, but now I’m a new member of the Volcanocafe writing team (a little bit more about me later). Deep in the South Atlantic Ocean lies an archipelago of uninhabited volcanic islands, the South Sandwich Islands. A British…

Sferics and whistlers, from Palmer Station, 
Antarctica. Sferics are the vertical lines; curved ones are
whistlers. Source: wikipedia, Stanford VLF group.

Volcano Radio: From Okmok with Love

Volcanoes are often inconveniently located in isolated and unpopulated regions. Of course, some of these regions are unpopulated precisely because of their volcano, or instead of unpopulated are depopulated, but that is a different story. When an area is devoid of people, there tends to be a reason. Modernity looks for and finds cheap and…

grimsvc3b6tn-again

Signs and Portents of Iceland

Icelandic volcanoes are all about long term projections. They do not do things in the short run, before any eruptions you will see either several intrusive episodes like at Eyjafjallajökull, or you will see signs of steadily mounting pressure prior to an eruption. For some Icelandic volcanoes these two processes goes on for decades, or…

The real source of many NZ earthquakes: the open-air fracking called rugby

Faults of New Zealand

It is a wonderful, and funny place. New Zealand has more than its fair share of the world’s beauty. You want volcanoes, rivers, beaches, forests, mountains, liveable cities, it has it all. Its history is out of this world. Apart from a few bats and some dolphins, the first mammals to arrive were human. In…

The standing stones of Calanais, on the Isle of Lewis, at mid summer (source: BBC)

The stones of Calanais

How Scotland met England The stones form an irregular circle, surrounding the taller stone in the centre. On one side of the small hill, an arm from the Atlantic ocean approaches, across a single-lane track. On the other side, a field, a small road and a few houses. Silence reigns: the only sounds come from…

Eyjafjallajokull-April-17 Árni Friðriksson

The unwitting community – 5 years of scientific lunacy

In the beginning – Or elderly ladies do not take no for an answer A little bit more than five years ago I had it with the volcano blogs at the time. Either they where unscientific or was terrible to comment in. My exact plans back then were to leave the volcano blogs to go…

Sometimes Fuego is almost to much of a beauty.

The New Decade Volcano Program – The Missing Volcano

First of all, this article is the official start of our celebratory week and we have no less than two things to celebrate since our five year birthday as a beacon light of volcanic science is on Wednesday. More about that later in the week, first we have another jubilee to take care of. A…