Volcano forecasts and Campi Flegrei

There are a few volcanoes that I do not feel comfortable writing about, and those are volcanoes that are far too close to large human settlements. The reason is obvious, it is far too likely that I will write about an event that will kill a lot of people. There are two ways to increase…

The Bristol tsunami of 1607

I have seen fish and men hanging from trees, while the cow, sheep, and horse swam in the sea. Where wagons used to roll, there the skiff flies along with sails unfurled, and goes and returns by unaccustomed routes. (John Stradling. Source http://website.lineone.net/~mike.kohnstamm/flood/stradling.html) It was one of those days. Living on the coastal flood plain…

Super interested in supervolcanoes?

A few days ago, I wrote that we are currently living in a volcanic low period. The last significant eruption happened on the 8th of August in 1991 and the culprit was Cerro Hudson. It was a medium sized VEI-5 eruption expelling roughly 4.5 cubic kilometres of ejecta. After that there has been a 26-year…

Rockall: The lost continent of Middle Earth

Mid-oceanic rifts should be in the middle of the ocean they formed. And often they are, but there are exceptions. The Reykjanes Rift, south of Iceland, is one of these. It is well known for its connection to Iceland, and events there are often discussed in this blog. Reykjanes has separated Greenland from Scotland, and…

Beneath a Boiling Sun: Mercury Rising

All volcanoes are the same. You start with liquid rock some distance below the surface. It tries to rise because molten rock is less dense than the solid rock that surrounds it. Once it reaches the surface it is called a volcano. There are many variations, of course. The liquid may pour out and form…

The young volcanologist guide to Lanzarote

Through channels most convolute and mysterious a request came into my hands for a guide to the volcanism of Lanzarote for a young man called Luke. Feel the volcanic force, young Luke! The Canary Islands As Africa and South America broke apart and the South Atlantic started to form 106 million years ago there was…

The 1342 St Mary Magdalene flood

Living near a river had its advantages. Transport was easy: you were well connected to other cities on (navigable) water ways, and trade was a reliable way to wealth. In the Middle Ages, the Hanze cities formed a powerful trading alliance, linked by water transport. If you also were on a land trading route and…

Failure

The signs were unequivocal. It started with earthquake swarms. A phreatic eruption followed, and than the ground began to swell. Magma was approaching the surface. An eruption was on the cards and evacuation plans were put in place. An exclusion zone kept people safe but not their possessions – and as always some people could…

Fingered by the Plume

In the last few years new data about the Icelandic mantleplume has emerged that forever has changed how we look at it, and how it affects Iceland. In yon olden days, it was perceived through the eyes of the original plume model that was devised to explain the Emperor Seamount Chain and Hawaii. That means…

Questions and Answers – A 1947 commemorative article series

I had planned the third part be an extension of how the sinusoidal 3D-wedge model influenced eruptions over time and how it explains distal eruptions along the fissure swarm. But, there has been a wealth of questions and comments that I felt needed to be answered that do not belong to the article series itself,…