Ice age

The signs are everywhere. In some places, huge stones are found lying on the land, in a place where no rock exists. In other places, deep scratches in the stony surface, all pointing in one direction. U-shaped valleys are found in hills, a shape which rivers don’t do. To the readers of the landscape, it…

The sad legality of geology

This is an opinion piece about earthquakes, volcanoes and court cases. Last week we learned that a group of relatives to the victims of the 2014 Mount Ontake phreatic detonation that occurred at 11.52 on the 27th of October. Before I start I will say that my heart goes out to the families of the…

Echoes from a silent spring

It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was now no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh. (From Rachel Carson: Silent Spring) The history of life on earth…

Life’s end: mass extinctions

Volcanoes affect life. That is as true for volcanoholics as it is for other life forms. As Bjarki pointed out, the puffins on Bogoslof are not going to be impressed, when returning to their nesting holes to find them all gone, blown up to bits or filled with ash and lava. They will be affected…

Tapping the Bárðarbung

Being considered the world leading authority on something is probably more of a curse than a blessing. All of a sudden you have a reputation to defend and everyone will be annoyed with you when you do not agree with their interpretation about what is happening. To top it off there will be a not…

The cinder cones at the base of Maly Semiachik

Kamchatka, a volcanic wonderland – Part II – Geothermal Areas

In the second part of the series about Kamchatka, we will analyze the geothermal wonders of this amazing territory, Uzon Caldera and the Valley of the Geysers. Uzon is the biggest geothermal field in Kamchatka, 9×12 km in size and formed around 40.000 years ago. In this magical place we can find mud pools and…