Lava rocks!

What’s in a name. Would lava by any other name smell as sweet? Perhaps that is not the right question: lava is many things, but sweet-smelling it is not. It smells like a rose bush that was doused in some evil sulphurous pesticide and then put on fire. This rose also constantly explodes with a…

Puna in numbers

Journalism is about impressions; science is about numbers. VC is standing in between these. We appreciate the immensity and power of volcanoes (and also appreciate that relatively speaking, these are manageable disasters. The human impact is awful for people concerned, but is not on the scale of major earthquakes or tsunamis. On balance, volcanoes create…

Kilauea: If wishes were horses!

We humans may wish for many things, but gravity is a horse we can’t wish away. And this horse drives what is happening at Kilauea. So far, the new stage of the old Kilauea eruption that started about one week ago has given us a very small subsidence caldera, a large earthquake, drained two lava…

The goop and the mudcano

On Wednesday I was asked to look into the possibility that there had been an eruption on the West Coast of Sweden. It was one of those phone calls that are really confusing and making you wonder if it is you, or the rest of the Universe, that has gone utterly bonkers. Since it was…

The lost volcanoes of Norway

What happens when an unstoppable force meats two unmovable objects? Well, in the world of geology there should be volcanism. A few weeks ago, I was asked by a person who did not believe in science this specific question. “If plate tectonics are real, why then are there no volcanoes in Norway?” It is a…

Dissecting Hekla

Hekla is the most mysterious of Iceland’s many volcanoes. Its brooding summit overlooks the broken plains 800 meter below as if it were an English Lord (or perhaps Lady) of the Manor. The fiefdom looks bare and uninviting, but that is not purely Hekla’s fault: once this was dense forest, but it was cut down…

The Sperm and The Volcano

I will this time temporarily deviate from the usual style and subject of Volcanocafé. The reason I am doing that is due to the grave importance about which I am writing. But rest assured that there will be a sideshow of volcanism, and even some geology. For those who do not wish to have their…

Black Swans and Iceland

Two weeks ago I wrote about statistics and the possibility to predict volcanoes in any way by using statistics. I think that the point was a bit lost, my entire point was to show that it was impossible to in any useful manner predict when an eruption would occur, and also that it is impossible…

When Pinatubo turned the tide

The sea is our fascination. We go out of our ways to find it, and it is where we go for holidays, spending our time lying on the beach. Close to half the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. For those who live here, there is a good living to be had,…

Don’t Panic! – Volcanoes, Overdue & Douglas Adams

Time and again we see the statistical fallacy pop up in regards of volcanoes, and then as a letter in the mail, the word “Overdue” is dropped in our mental mailboxes. But, fear not, there is a hero of sanity out there in the form of the greatest philosopher of all time to save us…