The living Earth: Rocks, plumes and hot spots. Part I

The Earth is alive. Well, not really. At least it is not life as we know it. Appropriately, the origin of this expression – slightly rephrased from the original Star Trek series – is from the second-most-famous non-human in existence, Spock, referring to a living rock. It is only a small step for humankind to…

Islands in the stream

In the last few weeks, I have been unusually busy with things decidedly non-volcanic as the world turned quite a bit darker. Regardless I noticed that there were quite a few things going on in the volcanic part of the news, but that did not for natural reasons end up as big news items. One…

CSO

One from the archives As I was growing up, having an interest in things geophysical/astrophysical, there was always a search for the “wow” factor. Not everyone’s “wow” sense is geared the same… and in some cases, the scale of stuff that people are familiar with has a lot to say about how they perceive the…

Sounds and shakes

In January, the world experienced the loudest bang of the century – and that of the previous century as well. The sound wave of Hunga Tonga was heard across the Pacific ocean in Alaska. The air pressure wave traveled around the world – and again. And again. The ocean wave caused a tsunami across the…

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…