Lava rocks! (republication)

While we are waiting for more information (and daylight) on the large Pacific eruption, here is a repost. It complements the previous post on igneousity (for which surely the ig-nobel prize was invented?). Enjoy. What’s in a name. Would lava by any other name smell as sweet? Perhaps that is not the right question: lava…

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…

Igneous rock

Rock, rock, rock There are only three types of rocks. This may be surprising, seeing no two rocks are the same and geologists use a never-ending series of names for these rocks, from abelsonite to zykaite. Names are what makes geology so hard. Henrik has written about gem stones, in a highly recommended post. But…

The curious case about seemingly endless energy

How’s that for a humdinger of a clickbait headline? As clickbaity as it might seem, it is still true, but I freely admit that it comes with a couple of hippopotamus sized caveats. Firstly, I should probably state that this article is about geology, geophysics and tectonic plates, and not as such about volcanoes, I…

The Making of La Palma

After Iceland, there was La Palma. It could have been the Azores, of course. There are more than just two volcanic archipelagos and islands in our youngest ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. But it was La Palma. Could we have seen it coming? Eruptions at La Palma are about ten times less frequent than at Iceland,…

The Missing Piece Part 1

Big intrusions = Big bangs? With mafic systems hogging all the attention, as a felsic guy, I feel compelled to represent my magma type. Large felsic systems are a slow burn, they spend plenty of time accumulating magma and give frequent small eruptions before releasing huge amounts of material in one eruption. These systems usually…

The North Anatolian Fault

There is a bit of California here. The fault equals the length of the San Andreas, its shape, its movement, and its earthquakes. Even the ends are alike: where the San Andreas has formed the Salton Sea, its counterpart has embraced the Marmara Sea. Both are places where the crust is being pulled part, and…

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…

The Great Whin Sill

We are delighted to present a guest post by Clive: A letter from Hadrian’s Wall Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus, The Emperor of Rome, inherited a largely developed Empire. There is no need to write a biography. Others have already done that. Suffice it to say he was a man who consolidated, set defences, and established…

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…