The lost volcanoes of Norway

What happens when an unstoppable force meats two unmovable objects? Well, in the world of geology there should be volcanism. A few weeks ago, I was asked by a person who did not believe in science this specific question. “If plate tectonics are real, why then are there no volcanoes in Norway?” It is a…

Dissecting Hekla

Hekla is the most mysterious of Iceland’s many volcanoes. Its brooding summit overlooks the broken plains 800 meter below as if it were an English Lord (or perhaps Lady) of the Manor. The fiefdom looks bare and uninviting, but that is not purely Hekla’s fault: once this was dense forest, but it was cut down…

The Sperm and The Volcano

I will this time temporarily deviate from the usual style and subject of Volcanocafé. The reason I am doing that is due to the grave importance about which I am writing. But rest assured that there will be a sideshow of volcanism, and even some geology. For those who do not wish to have their…

Black Swans and Iceland

Two weeks ago I wrote about statistics and the possibility to predict volcanoes in any way by using statistics. I think that the point was a bit lost, my entire point was to show that it was impossible to in any useful manner predict when an eruption would occur, and also that it is impossible…

When Pinatubo turned the tide

The sea is our fascination. We go out of our ways to find it, and it is where we go for holidays, spending our time lying on the beach. Close to half the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. For those who live here, there is a good living to be had,…

Don’t Panic! – Volcanoes, Overdue & Douglas Adams

Time and again we see the statistical fallacy pop up in regards of volcanoes, and then as a letter in the mail, the word “Overdue” is dropped in our mental mailboxes. But, fear not, there is a hero of sanity out there in the form of the greatest philosopher of all time to save us…

The Mayas and their lack of volcanoes

Alberts latest article was a tour de force of the classic view of Mayan collapses, as it has been perpetuated in classic literature. The general idea is that the large downfalls in the Mayan empires would have been caused by large distant eruptions. This is of course an unfair summing up of Alberts quite more…

Black smokers

When visiting volcanoes, the first thing to strike you is the desolation. The ground is black without any sign of green, a lifeless wasteland. In Hawaii, walking through the rain forest, the sickness in the trees is the first thing that becomes evident. A little later, the forest opens up and disappears as the path…

A volcano is born unto us

A bit about the importance of data-plots It is now many years since I did any heavy scientific lifting. But, the fun part of writing for Volcanocafé is that I get to do quite a bit of work in the field of volcanology in a relaxed popular science setting. It is a rather well-known secret…

Jokulhlaup in the English Channel

Christmas is a time of hope. The days may be dark and dismal but the corner has finally been turned. The sun is beginning its journey back to the north, and from here on the days will get lighter and longer. The new year has started. In Christianity, it is the birth of a baby…