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…

The Grimsvötn eruption of 5 May 2021

38 per cent of all eruptions in Iceland come from Grimsvötn. It is an amazing number: this hidden volcano, invisible and unreachable to all but the most hardy explorer, is among the most active volcanoes in the world. Not the most active: the volcano with the highest frequency of eruptions is Mayon, which has erupted…

The Edinburgh volcano

Edinburgh – home of the Scottish Parliament, Military Tattoo, Princes Street and gardens, Scott memorial, Murrayfield, Valvona and Crolla’s food emporium, sundry pubs (!), the fringe, volcanoes … eh, volcanoes? Surprising as it may be to some people, Edinburgh plays host to a great variety of igneous rocks. The most obvious, and in our case…

Wrangellia: How the west was won

The Wrangell Mountains are Alaska’s most secretive volcanoes. We have looked at what they are (post I) and how they may have formed (post II). This area of Alaska has suffered the brunt of the most recent continental collision on Earth, and the Wrangell Mountains are an immense scar from this monumental accident. But there…

A Reykjanes story

Iceland does it rather well. Over the 1100 years or so since the Viking settlement, it has erupted some 63 km3 of lava, the large majority of it basaltic. A similar volume of tephra was also produced. The East Volcanic Zone is the prime suspect for any eruption, and with good reason: it is responsible…

A Taal Tale

Sometimes, a volcano is nothing more than a hole in the ground. There are beautiful, though deeply eroded, cone volcanoes around Taal: Mount Banahaw, Mount Mariveles, Mount Natib – especially the latter also has a large caldera. But Taal is not like that. It is a lake, with only a little cone sticking out. The…

Building the Wrangell Mountains

The Wrangell Mountains are an unexpected treasure in a land of riches. Here are shield volcanoes higher than Mauna Loa, which have grown up over the past 5 million years. It stands alone amidst the crowd. From the Wrangell Mountains, other mountains ranges can be seen in every direction, but none of those are currently…

Wrangell Mountains

Alaska is a wonderland. The harsh winters make the land difficult to live in, and in consequence much of the wilderness seems hardly touched by human hand. No need for rewilding here – it is wild enough to begin with! Amidst the wilderness are the most majestic mountains of North America, and some of its…

Inconsistency and Cerro Negro

Guest post by Tallis The more I think about Chiles-Cerro Negro the more I get worried about it and the less simple the answer seems. I can’t seem to make sense of this system and its recent unrest. I have already written a piece on this system but I wasn’t entirely satisfied with it. I…

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

There is something about it. Gardening is a very human passion. Wherever there is nature, there is the urge to improve on it, removing the thorns, thistles and weeds, and replacing them with colour and fruit, adding beauty and harmony, a taming of the wild world, an artifice of flowers and pleasing shapes, where every…