Rome’s world’s weirdest caldera

Italy is a fascinating country, and when it comes to volcanology, Italy has been arguably the most influential location in the planet. The first ever detailed description of a volcanic eruption came from Pliny the Younger writing about the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Vesuvius was also the first volcano to be watched over…

Kilauea III. Rifts under Hawaii.

Here is the third part of my Kilauea series that was promised, a bit more delayed than I would have wished though. Many things have happened at Kilauea since the previous part. A sill intrusion took place in the Upper Southwest Rift in August, then on September 29, about a month after the sill, lava…

Cumbre Vieja and the San Juan eruption of 1949

The volcano Cumbre Vieja in the island of La Palma has been showing signs of unrest. The question on everyone’s mind is, will there be an eruption? Maybe, or maybe not. This is always hard to know. The Spanish National Geographic Institute reports inflation, a total of 10 cm of deformation. As such it is…

Making a shield volcano

Looking back to when Fagradalsfjall eruption started, I wrote a post about the Reykjanes Fires, where I speculated about how the eruption could end up being like. I mentioned two main possibilities. One was that it would turn out similar to the eruptions of the Brennisteinsfjöll volcanic system that took place 1000 years ago. The…

Ring dyke formation on Taal?

Lately Taal volcano has been showing unsettling signs of a possible imminent eruption, including high sulphur dioxide emissions, small steam-driven explosions, tremor, and somewhat surprisingly, deflation. I think that this is no conventional magma intrusion but rather a very rare type. First of all I should briefly review what happened in 2020.   The events…

Kilauea II: Roots of the Hawaiian Islands

In my previous article, here, I discussed how Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes are connected to each other through the Pahala Swarm. Now I have to deal with a confrontation of theories that is inevitable. There is a classical model of how Hawaii works. It is all about the mantle plume. The classical view establishes…

Kilauea I: Magma waves from the phantom rift

Each volcano is an expression of a magma architectural construction, a great sculpture of chambers, pipes and sills, as intricate as an ant colony, or rather like the roots of a plant. This is all hidden away from our view, under kilometres or tens of kilometres of rock that makes it impossible for us to…

Magma sponge

There is one question that has been bugging me lately. Why are there two types of eruptions in the Reykjanes Peninsula? Slow and fast. I have talked about this before, in here. Basically eruptions can be classified into two broad categories depending on how fast the maximum eruption rate is, which clusters into two end-members,…