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…

Vesuvius in retrospect

Is this the most famous volcano in the world? The shape is instantly recognisable: the twin peaks give the appearance of an unintended gap where something has been removed. Naples of course has the reputation that anything that is not securely fixed down can quickly and involuntarily change owner, so perhaps a missing bit of…