Askja for Beginners

I love large caldera volcanoes. The first reason is that they are always very beautiful, especially if they have lakes in them. The second reason is that most of them are of a class of volcanoes that leave their pointier cousins far behind. Size matters after all. At one end of the beauty spectrum, you…

Icelandic Chicken Race

Geological time is interesting, because even the geological now is decades long, if not centuries. The current geological episode at Reykjanes didn’t start with Fagrafjall (it is no longer a valley, so let us drop the “dal” out of Fagradalsfjall shall we). Nor did it start with the large and very noisy intrusion over at…

Islands in the stream

In the last few weeks, I have been unusually busy with things decidedly non-volcanic as the world turned quite a bit darker. Regardless I noticed that there were quite a few things going on in the volcanic part of the news, but that did not for natural reasons end up as big news items. One…

Weekend Ash to Pottery Competition

A couple of weeks ago we got an email from one of our readers who is currently studying how to make ceramics and porcelain in Iceland. She was wondering about what ashes might give the best colours. I am not the best geologist around, and instead concentrate on the squiggly stuff on seismometers and bouncing…

The End of the World

”A Hall she saw standing far from the sun, on Dead Body Shore. With the doors facing North, Venom drops, In through the roof vent. For the walls are woven Of Serpents spines.” Völuspá, Níðhöggr First Stanza.   I come from the North, and in our traditions and old religious motifs, we have always known…

Hunga Tonga and The Supercriticality Event

As the numbers for the Hunga Tonga eruption continues to come in it is becoming ever clearer that something truly momentous happened, something not seen or heard in 139 years. With a columnar height of 55 kilometres, an explosive pressure wave travelling several laps around the planet, forming a medium sized deadly tsunami, gouging out…

Iceland: Plumbing the Plume

In the last decade, science has been under increasing attacks and have lost in status among the general population. Where famous scientists a century ago could rake in some serious dosh by going on lecture tours explaining their findings, today’s scientists are increasingly unknown and scorned by the general population. Instead, we see the rise…

What if Katla erupted?

First of all, I should clearly state that there are no current signs that an eruption at Katla is about to happen in the near future. Instead, the reason is that I was asked by one of our readers, Patricio Oliver, what would happen if the volcano erupted, especially for the inhabited areas. This is…

In the beginning there was sheep

“When in doubt, data shall provide the answer!”   In the beginning A decade ago to the day, the first article was published here at Volcanocafé. It was not one of the memorable ones that I remember without checking, but from humble starts came many memorable articles over the years. Starting Volcanocafé was quite unexpected…

The Current Volcanic State of Affairs

I am taking this opportunity to look at 5 volcanoes that at least I find interesting. I am doing this out of the perspective of the life-curve of an eruption. I find this perspective to be interesting, and I think that it is something that would be both entertaining and informative for our dear readers.…