You and Corona

As I am sitting here in Tanzania, I am pondering two small things, one is how on Earth I will get home since my usual route has a closed down border in it filled with armed incompetent soldiers. The other is the virus that has caused my slight travel problems. Before anyone feel sorry for…

Climate in action

16,000 years ago, Iceland was in the grip of ice. The sea was 100 meters lower than it is now, and the land extended far beyond the current coast. But too little benefit. The island was covered in an icecap which extended well beyond the current coast. At its peak (21.5 thousands years ago) the…

Mercurious

It is a strange one. Metals are shiny, and this one certainly is, in a dark-grey, silvery way. It is so shiny that it can even be used as a telescope mirror. Metals tend to be hard, but this one certainly is not. It isn’t even a solid. Mercury is one of only two elements…

Lava Lakes – The Great Equilibrium Machine

A while ago Jesper Sandberg asked a question about if Grimsvötn could sprout forth a lava lake. I somewhat sloppily answered that I did not think that it was possible. Jesper then asked why not, and I got somewhat flustered since I did not have a ready answer. I promised to come back with a…

London VAAC Calling

Lately there has been a bit of discussion about Flight Level Ash Advisories and how people interpret them visavi actual columnal height. Some have been disappointed when it has turned out that the advisories have been up to 3 times as high as the confirmed numbers released by the various agencies at a later stage.…

A Green Hawaiian Interlude

A little article while we happily wait for the USGS to confirm that Kilauea is about to sprout a green caldera lake, or not. I normally do not write a lot about Kilauea, the reason for this is that it rarely does anything interesting. But, in 2018 it did quite a lot of interesting things,…

The Forgotten Volcano

A few days ago, I was sipping on a rum and coke as I was flying over Kilimanjaro and the great continental divide ripping East Africa away from the embrace of the rest of Africa. As I did that, I got to ponder the other major tectonic powerhouse, Iceland. People tend to forget or underestimate…

Water, Grimsvötn and Stromboli

After a couple of rather hectic volcanic weeks in the world of volcanoes I thought I would write a little something about two of these events. Namely Stromboli and Grimsvötn, the reason I am cherry picking those two is that they have a common theme, water.   Stromboli Unless you have been to Stromboli you…

The Wandering Earth: mantle in motion

It is nice to live on the crust. It gives a degree of stability which the rest of the Earth lacks. It is not perfect: the quiet can be punctuated by earthquakes or volcanoes, and lacking those there is still the off-chance of a landslip or flood. The atmosphere may also interfere with our lives.…

The Wandering Earth: when rocks flow

The wonder of water The tell-tale sign of the suspension of the laws of physics is someone seen walking on water. The suspension is always temporary – as soon as a second person tries to follow, the laws of physics are re-instated and the person looking for the ‘me too’ experience instead encounters full immersion.…