The dangers of volcano tourism

I think that everyone with a bit of knowledge about volcanoes and volcanism will agree with me that volcanoes are inherently dangerous and can be detrimental to human health in a myriad of ways. At the same time they are a fascinating expression of nature’s raw power and can be incredibly beautiful and awe-inspiring to…

Seismic unrest and the future of volcanism at Herðubreið

I had intended to write either an angry op-ed, or a piece about Guatemalan volcanism. But, as usual Iceland had to butt in and grab the attention, so here we go (again). Seismic unrest at Herðubreið Before I write about what has happened in the last few days and about what is going to happen…

Up!

When the ground starts to rise beneath your feet, it is time to sit up. Fishermen would be the first to notice, being unable to leave their harbours due to lack of sea. Governments would discuss the risk of reduction in tax income from fishing, and would commission research. The scientists report evidence of widespread…

Masaya Volcano: the mouth of hell

As most of us are aware, a lava lake appeared on the crater floor inside Santiago Crater on Nicaragua’s Volcan Masaya back in December 2015. This however wasn’t the first time Volcan Masaya hosted an active lava lake, Masaya has had a history of having a lava lake appear and disappear over the centuries and it…

Iceland going Boom?

A little while ago there was a short interview published with Professor in geophysics, Páll Einarsson. In the interview it seemed like he was stating that Bárdarbunga, Grimsvötn, Hekla and Katla all were preparing to erupt shortly. First of all let me state that I deeply respect Páll as a geophysicist, problem is just that…

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…