The Woolly Mammoth-Sized Eruption Poll – One Year On

It’s been one year, yes one whole year of DNA damage and telomere shortening, since the last poll and we’re all still waiting to see who’s going to go first. We’ve seen activity increase in some areas and decline in others. Will that have swayed your opinion or will you stick to your previous vote…

Sleeper Fish… A look at the Taal and Laguna de Bay setting.

I originally submitted this article on November 9, 2012, Due to PHILVOCS raising the alert level for Taal from “No Activity” to Level 1 on 8 Oct 2019, as pointed out by reader Andrew McNeil, we felt that a quick rerun was in order.  Before we touch that, let me add that the data in…

Lava Lakes – The Great Equilibrium Machine

A while ago Jesper Sandberg asked a question about if Grimsvötn could sprout forth a lava lake. I somewhat sloppily answered that I did not think that it was possible. Jesper then asked why not, and I got somewhat flustered since I did not have a ready answer. I promised to come back with a…

Ball’s Pyramid

A Clive special from 2015, re-published because it is worth re-reading. Ever since I saw my first pictures of Ball’s Pyramid, I wanted to know more about this isolated and amazing structure. The pyramid is named after Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, who discovered it in 1788. On the same voyage, Ball also discovered Lord Howe…

The Rumble in the Jungle

Africa in general is a place that is easy to fall in love with, in particular Tanzania is easy to become deeply enamoured with. Sometimes I think that there is a deep DNA-memory remnant in all of us that is telling us that this is our ancestral home. When most people think about Tanzania, they…

Strong tremor signal detected at Grimsvötn

At 19.03 local time the automatic SIL-system in Iceland picked up a strong tremor signal. When this type of tremor signal is visible in Iceland it is normally associated with either a large jökulhlaup (rapid glacial melt outflow) that can become larger than the output of the Amazon River, or it is associated with an…

Tambora, the lost summer and the hobby horse

Morn came and went – and came, and brought no day Lord Byron, Darkness, 1816 The world has changed. It is not something we normally notice – change is slow and memory surprisingly selective. Nothing has altered but everything’s changed, as the song says, paraphrasing Jean-Paul Sartre. We have little idea of how our parents…

London VAAC Calling

Lately there has been a bit of discussion about Flight Level Ash Advisories and how people interpret them visavi actual columnal height. Some have been disappointed when it has turned out that the advisories have been up to 3 times as high as the confirmed numbers released by the various agencies at a later stage.…

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Holohraun Five Years Later

A guest post from Salting I visited Iceland many times in the past to meet friends and take a day off on my way between Europa and US. In summer 2011 I made an extra-long stop and visited a glacier to better understand the forces that shaped the coastline around my Swedish home island. Trekking…

Was Puyehue Cordón-Caulle really a VEI-5?

That the question even exist is a bit of an oddity in modern volcanology, after all we have known amply how to take ejecta-depth measurements to create Isopac-maps since 1956, more about that below. The reason that this question has prevailed is that there are anomalies in the numbers proven for the eruption, compared to…