Puna 2018

Update May 8 No major changes. The lava pond in Kilauea is now reported as 220 meters down, and may still be dropping. The most recent images suggest it is still going down. Below 400 meters there would be a risk of ground water getting into the hole with phreatic consequences, but so far there…

The majestic volcanoes of Kyushu, Japan – Part I -Sakurajima and Kirishima

Kyushu, the third largest island in Japan, considered the cradle of the japanese culture, is also a natural treasure and most of the wonders you can find there are volcanic spots. Some of the most active volcanoes in Asia lie here, and the island is also famous for the wonderful thermal areas. A trip around…

Puna 2018

Volcanoes spring predictable surprises. Ever since Puʻu ʻŌʻō began to inflate it was clear that a new break-out was brewing. The 61-G flow had been in decline for many months: the spectacular ocean entry had ceased some time ago, and the flows had withdrawn to within a few miles of the origin. That is typical…

Ancient foundations: the earth of the bible. Part II: Volcanics in the fertile crescent

In Part I, the five main faults in the region around the Levant were discussed: the Red Sea spreading ridge and its associated triple point, the Dead Sea transform fault, the Zagros suture, the Anatolian strike-slip fault (actually two near parallel faults), and the Aegean subduction zone. Every type of fault that is known occurs…

Ancient foundations: the earth of the bible. Part I: Tectonics

Humanity has a long history of living on this Earth. During the days and years, our world continuously changed. We grew up in the shadows of the approaching ice ages. We left Africa when the changing sea opened up a road to Asia, and followed an ever-changing coast line to the far East. And throughout…

The goop and the mudcano

On Wednesday I was asked to look into the possibility that there had been an eruption on the West Coast of Sweden. It was one of those phone calls that are really confusing and making you wonder if it is you, or the rest of the Universe, that has gone utterly bonkers. Since it was…

Volcanic illusions

Is this the most northerly elephant in the world? 200 meter tall and rising from the Atlantic Ocean, this Neptunic elephant lives at Heimaey Island, off the south coast of Iceland. A combination of basalt and wave erosion has left a convincing elephant head, complete with deeply wrinkled trunk. There are other elephant rocks in…

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…