Kilauea eruption – lavabergs, fountains and drainbacks

Kilauea is back erupting since December 20! The eruption style is typical of Kilauea, yet it’s been decades since it last showed it and many aspects have not been explained properly. The most important unanswered question being the difference between a rootless lava lake (this eruption) and a “true” lava lake. The eruption came as…

Ten volcanoes with super-eruption potential: Part III

Here comes the conclusion to the series, the 3 volcanoes that I considered the likeliest to produce a VEI-8 eruption. 3. Calabozos and neighbours (Chile) This volcano is located in Chile. It forms part of a little known, little studied, silicic flare-up of the Southern Andes Volcanic Zone. Steepening of the subducting Payenia Slab gave…

Ten volcanoes with super-eruption potential: Part II

We continue with a list of volcanoes capable of producing a VEI-8 eruption from least to most likely and taking into account the factors that I explained in the previous post, here. Next volcano capable of a VEI-8 is… 6. Long Valley-Mono (USA) The volcanism of the western United States can give you a headache…

Ten volcanoes with super-eruption potential: Part I

Where will the next VEI 8 supereruption (>1000 km3 of erupted volume) of the planet take place? This is the question that these articles are here to answer. To put it another way, this list will evaluate and rank the supereruption potential of several volcanic systems. I didn’t use any objective parameter to calculate which…

Batholiths and flare-ups

An eruption that ejects more than 1000 km3 of material (ash, pumice, rock…) is considered a super-eruption, a VEI-8. These represent the greatest volcanic events that have taken place during human existence. Such apocalyptic phenomena attract a lot of attention, from scientists, volcanoholics and doomsayers. The term supervolcano has become increasingly popular but also increasingly…

Big basalt blasts III. Over the world.

2 posts ago I started talking about the pinnacle of basaltic explosivity, 2 posts later there is no mention of anything bigger than the Tarawera 1886 eruption. The eruption of Tarawera was a relatively common scenario of a dyke intruding below a lake, sure, the one responsible was a giant volcanic system of the Taupo…

Big basalt blasts II. Taal

In my last post I introduced the model for a new eruption mechanism/style. I will be referring to these events as big basalt blasts, this is just the silly preliminary name, not its definitive one I hope. So how did it work? I will briefly summarize. First a magma reservoir drains through a lateral eruption…

Big basalt blasts I. The trigger

Rhyolite has more silica, this makes it more viscous, more explosive and in turn more dangerous. Basalt is the opposite, fluid, well-behaved, safe. This could be a phrase out of any geology textbook, I can almost feel some readers getting ahead of me and thinking what I am obliged to say. But there are exceptions!…