Okmok versus the Roman republic

Okmok is a known hazard. The volcano occupies its own half of Umnak, an isolated part of the Aleutian islands. Okmok is possibly the most active of the 40-odd Aleutian volcanoes. Over the past 8600 years it has produced over 50 ash layers from separate explosions, and minor eruptions happen every other decade. AVO has…

Volcano ecology

Space is a precious resource. We hoard it and guard it. Together with air, water, warmth and tomato ketchup, it is one of the essential ingredients for life. We are happy to share empathy, food, and money, but letting someone else invade our personal space is a big step well beyond that. Social distancing is…

Terra Incognito: the Verkhoyansk mountains

The Eurasian continent has been thoroughly explored. From Ireland to Kamchatka, there seems little left to discover. Wherever you go, someone has gone before, and left a comment on tripadvisor. People are everywhere, and all geological features are known. We present and explain, but do not discover. But there are still mysteries. For there are…

Bagana: child volcano

It is hard being a child of a famous parent. It means living under a cloud of expectation. Society expects children to be like the parents. Parents expect children to become a better version of themselves. Parental pressure can be particularly strong on the oldest child. Younger children may have more freedom to do what…

Laki: the making of a fire

Laki was one of the defining events of Iceland’s history. Its impact went well beyond the nation, covering much of the northern hemisphere. It seems amazing that something that caused so much suffering was seen by so few people. This it shares with Eldgja, which was even larger and must have devastated Iceland, but of…

Laki deconstructed V. Ashes to Ashes and Sulphates to Sulphates

For those who have missed the previous 3 parts and the prequel. Here are the links. Laki deconstructed: I. prequel Laki deconstructed II. Anatomy of an Eruption Laki deconstructed III. Grimsvötn and Beyond Laki deconstructed IV. A Timeline for Destruction The nuclear background To be able to understand large eruptions you need to understand a…

Calling All Volcanians

Guest post from Tallis An Appeal for Advice I thought I was finished with Chiles-Cerro Negro, I have already written two articles on this volcano before detailing my thoughts, issues, concerns, and scenarios. Chiles-Cerro Negro is a volcano that has been restless for almost 7 years now, it has had large swarms and other signs…

Birds on volcanic islands: a study in social isolation

It was on a hike to Mauna Ulu, many years ago. The path from the Pu’u Huluhulu trail head had been easy to follow – at first. It quickly left the shrubby vegetation near the road behind, and the scenery became one of total devastation. The markings of the path became fewer and fewer. Once,…

Iceland eruption postponement

Decision taken after the EU expressed concern This was of course our April-1 story, aimed to amuse rather than fool, in these dark days. The idea came from Lughduniense and Geolurking, and images were artfully created by Lughduniense. Carl proclaimed it ‘wonderful’ and Manning was happy to ‘help’. And I just did the writing up.…

Hekla of history: the 1104 eruption

Of all the volcanoes of Iceland, the most famous is Hekla. It is one of five recognized stratovolcanoes in Iceland, and of those it is by far the most active. Over the past millennium, there have been around 20 eruptions of Hekla, accounting for 13% of all Icelandic eruptions. There are more prolific eruptors on…