Golden volcanoes

After the post on Mount Fuji, there was a discussion on which was the most beautiful volcano. Beauty can be a rather vague term, and people can disagree with each other as to the best volcanic beauty. Who is the judge in the Volcano World beauty contest? Or can we solve the question here, and define beauty in a way that leaves one clear winner? Our definitive i-cone-oclast?

The volcanoes that were proposed in the previous discussion have things in common. Like Mount Fuji, they tend to be fairly steep cones, isolated with a clear contrast to the rest of the landscape, and symmetric. Does this give a way to define what a perfect volcano should look like?


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the expression says. This of course is very much true. A new-born baby is the most beautiful thing on earth – if you are the parent. But a new baby does not live up to any standard of beauty. In fact, dare I say it, they can at first be quite ugly. Patience: they quickly beautify over the first months of life, and keep improving until puberty hits and life begins for real. Old paintings show how our perception of beauty has changed. What was a beautiful face for a renaissance painter would not pass muster in the age of Hollywood. Both use standards, but the standards have changed. Some things remain: symmetry and skin suppleness survive while the ideal shape changes. Leonardo da Vinci described beauty as a combination of symmetry and proportion. Nowadays, plastic surgery uses a set of linear and angular parameters to beautify a face. But a universal description of the shape of a perfect face does not exist: it varies with time, race and culture.

So it is with a landscape. A perfect Japanese landscape differs from a German one (the former has space, the latter probably has a forest in it somewhere). But these are variations in a theme. Both themes strive for proportion, a degree of symmetry, and for harmony. There should also be an element of surprise. Like a perfect and unblemished face looks artificial and made up, a perfect landscape looks boring. There is nothing happening. A landscape can be shown from many different points of view. In some of the images of Hokusai’s 36 Views of Fuji, the mountain itself is the focus, always showing a different but domineering aspect. In others the focus is elsewhere, with Fuji in the background to give meaning to a human land. The Big Wave falls in that category. Just a landscape is not enough. It needs context.

Beauty rubs off. Studies have shown that people have more favourable impressions of people who have attractive partners – even if those persons themselves do not satisfy typical definitions of beauty. A beautiful partner is more than a trophy: it is an asset which adds value. (Of course, for the partner it can be a curse to be seen as a trophy and asset, rather than being admired for talent!) This transfer of beauty applies to both people and volcanoes – any landscape looks better with a stratovolcano in it, just like that volcano looks better with its surroundings.

There are other aspects of beauty. Colour is one: lava is ugly in the light of day (really!) but it becomes a wonder at night when the lava turns into a light show worthy of Christmas. Music is another: it can leave a lasting impression of beauty and harmony. But beauty can be bland and appreciation does not need beauty. Much of the music each of us enjoys cannot be called ‘beautiful’. Paintings can have great visual impact without beauty (Picasso’s Guernica comes to mind). But those pieces are much more affected by personal preferences. Different people enjoy very different music, but we can agree that the waving melody of Greensleeves and the lightfootedness of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik have beauty.

The previous post mentioned that at close view, Fuji is far from perfect. But in fact, that can add to the beauty. It adds character to symmetry – as long as the deviations do not dominate. Pure beauty can seem lifeless. An average human face has beauty but has lost all character, perhaps because it lacks those minor, surprising asymmetries.

The golden ratio

Skin tone and texture is relevant in people’s perception of beauty. So are proportions. The volcanoes we like are all fairly steep mountains. Does that mean anything?

Originally this was called the divine ratio. It is a weird number that was discovered already by the ancient Greeks. Take a line, and divide it into two unequal lengths. If the ratio of the two lengths is the same as the ratio of the larger length to the total, that is the golden ratio. It is commonly denoted with the greek letter φ.

Source: wikipedia

The definition above in mathematics can be written as follows:

If we now make the choice to take b=1, then automatically a=φ. The equation now becomes

Rearranging this gives the equation

The ancient Greeks were fascinated by this equation. It has a funny solution which they couldn’t quite figure out. It could not be written as a ratio between two whole numbers, say n/m. They were even able to proof this. No such number had been found before. Nowadays we call this an irrational number. To the Greeks this was as strange as imaginary numbers are to us. We can phrase the solution as an equation, but not as a precise number. The solution is in fact

If you had written the original ratio the wrong way around, with +φ rather than -φ, you would have calculated 1/φ rather than φ. It turns out, that gives exactly the same number with the first ‘1’ replaced by ‘0’: it gives 0.61803.. That was funny. Later it was found that the golden ratio is related to the Fibonacci numbers. If you don’t quite remember what this is, don’t worry – most people just pretend that they know. The Fibonacci numbers start with 0 and 1 (now you already know more than most), and then make more numbers by adding the previous two together. So the next number in the sequence is 1 (from 0+1), the following one is 2 (1+1) and now it gets harder: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, .. The numbers quickly become larger.

(Actually, you could argue that starting with 0 is wrong. 0 is not really a number in mathematics. It doesn’t exist. For instance, you would instantly see the difference between 10 elephants and 10 apples. But how about 0 elephants and 0 apples? You know you can add apples together, and you could add elephants together if you had enough of them. But adding apples and elephants makes no sense: 2 apples plus 4 apples makes 6 apples, but 2 apples plus 4 elephants just makes a mess. Could you add 2 apples plus 0 elephants? Mathematics has no real answer to this, except to say that zero doesn’t really exist. So there is an other series which is like the Fibonacci numbers but begins with 1,2 rather than 0,1. It is called the Lucas sequence, designed by a mathematician who did not believe in zero.)

Back to the original topic. If you take the ratio of the last two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence above, 21 and 13, you can calculate the ratio. (Just pop it into the google search bar. You might even get some refreshing adverts later, when google figures out your new-found love of mathematics.) That ratio is 1.615, very close to the golden ratio. In fact when we continue the sequence, the next two numbers (34 and 55) have a ratio even closer to 1.618. The same is true for the Lucas series. If you continue them long enough, the ratio between your last two numbers becomes equal to the golden ratio. The 16th Fibonacci number is 2207: we can now immediately say that the next one must be 3571, just by multiplying 2207 by the golden ratio. But we can never get to the exact value of the golden ratio in this way. That is because it is an irrational number which cannot be written as a fraction of two whole numbers. But you can get very close.

(If you want to impress your friends: the higher Lucas numbers are almost exactly the golden ratio to that power. The golden ratio to the power 20, for instance, will give you the 20th Lucas number.) (It is 1.6180339920, or 15127, by the way.)

So far this is of interest to mathematicians, not volcanoholics. You eyes may be glazing over and you are already hoping that the next post will be a bit more explosive, or at least involve more latin (lava, from the latin lavare) and less greek. I would have agreed with you. Except, this number began popping up in strange and unexpected places. It kind of erupted everywhere.

It describes the pentagon (the shape, not the US military) and the dodecahedron (the shape, not the dead bird). It came up in nature: the distribution of leaves on a plant follow the golden ratio.

Where mathematics and nature lead, people follow. There has been a lot of discussion on whether the golden ratio appears in our creations. People have found it in old buildings, in paintings and in writing. But it is hard to prove these things. We don’t have written evidence from the architect of the pyramids that he (presumably) used the golden ratio. (This is claimed by some but is more than a little unlikely as the ratio was not known at that time, and wasn’t considered as important outside of mathematics until the late middle ages.) Some of the lines in cathedrals have the golden ratio. Was that by design? Or just because it is easy to scale things up by adding lines together, a bit like making a Fibonacci sequence out of planks? If a building design includes lines drawn as a pentagon, the golden ratio automatically appears even though it was never included in the design.

The first claims that the golden ratio appears in art date to the time of Leonardo da Vinci. In fact, these claims were applied to his work while the master was still working. We don’t have a statement from the artist himself, so this has remained controversial. It has appeared in more recent, famously in the geometrical designs of Mondrian and in the Sacrament of the Last Supper of Salvador Dali.

The Sacrament of the Last Supper by Salvador Dali. The size of the canvas and the docahedron show the golden (or divine) ratio. Source: wikipedia

Technology may use the golden ratio. The computer screen I am working on has a wide screen with dimensions 16:10. This is, within the accuracy, the golden ratio. But it is not deliberate design. It is just a size that is comfortable to work on.

And that is the bottom line about the golden ratio. Mathematically, it is a marvel. In nature, it is sometimes the optimum design, eventually favoured by natural selection. In the human world, it is a comfortable, pleasing ratio. The golden ratio became a measure of beauty. Is that because it happens to be present in nature? Or because of our own faces? The ratio of the length to the width of a face is approximately the golden ratio. It is the first shape a baby sees – and that is worth a smile. You can find calculators on-line which will take a photo of a face, calculate various parameters such as the facial index defined above, distances between eyes, etc, all compared to the golden ratio, and look at the symmetry of the face. It will now give you a score which indicates how beautiful the face is. It is of course artificial: these calculators try to make believe that one size fits all. Faces vary and people (and races) have different shapes. Face recognition software measures many of the same parameters, but without assigning a beauty index. (I think!)

So the golden ratio (or at least numbers not too far from it) are seen as an aesthetic indicator. It is something pleasing to look at. But how does this apply to volcanoes? Volcanoes don’t look like faces – at least being told you have a face like a volcano is not seen as as compliment.

Mount Fuji

Fuji has the reputation of being a beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful volcano on Earth. Why would that be?

Here is a classic view of Fuji. In Japanese tradition, it is framed by cherry blossom with one corner left open, creating space on one side. The lake and snow create a layered composition with the white bringing the summit into sharp focus. Sadly the reflection is disturbed by the waves on the lake, otherwise this would be the perfect Fuji composition.

Let’s look at this white summit. I have drawn a triangle which fits the upper slopes and show where the peak would have been without the central crater. Each half of the triangle (left and right) have horizontal and vertical lengths which have a ratio of about 1.6 – the golden ratio. In fact, if you were to combine the two halves to make one rectangle, that rectangle would be a so-called golden rectangle – with about the same aspect ratio as my computer screen.

(The triangles are not golden triangles. A golden triangle is defined differently, and in my opinion wrongly.)

So the summit of Mount Fuji can be approximated by the golden ratio. Fuji is a golden volcano! But only the summit peak: the lower, shallower slopes become part of the landscape instead.

In case you wondered, the angle of the slope in the triangle is about 31 degrees. Steep, but not mountaineering level. 30 degrees is typical for the upper slopes of a stratovolcano. Cinder cones are steeper, and shield volcanoes are shallower. So now it is official: stratovolcanoes are the most beautiful. They will score highest on the beauty algorithms. Hollywood, look no further.

But there are many stratovolcanoes in the world. Is there anything that makes Fuji stand out, and grades it as a 10 rather than a 9? The image shows an obvious one: the white summit forms a sharp contrast with the dark lower slopes, and delineates the ‘golden area’ very nicely. Of course, this is only during the right season, but picking the right time is one sign of a brilliant photographer.

The other thing about Fuji is that the foreground perfectly frames the mountain. The next picture shows the same triangles, but now I have made them larger – in fact the dashed lines are 1.6 times longer (where have I seen this number before!) than the solid lines. Amazingly, this traces the edge of the lake, and the cherry blossom approximately borders this new triangle. This is again a sign of brilliant photography: the cherry blossoms mirror the shape of the golden mountain.

So the beauty of Mount Fuji is a combination of the shape, the contrast and the environment. Maybe it is the perfect volcano, at least if you are at the right place at the right time with the right camera. The 36 Views of Mount Fuji of Hokusai show how this mountain can dominate, in a brooding way, even when it is just a distant background as it is in the famous Big Wave where the mountain and the people seem swamped by the storm at sea. But the mountain, small and distant, still dominates the scene. Older versions of this work, without the mountain, lack that focus.

So what makes the beauty of Mount Fuji? It it a combination of the shape, the symmetry, the youthful regularity and the surroundings. It is not perfect: the shape in particular has distortions and the snow is only seasonal. But that just adds character to the beauty. And beauty plus character makes impact.


Is it the most beautiful volcano in the world? Below are some other candidates for this which have been suggested in the comments on the previous post. I will invite people to make their case in support of their favourite Volcano World beauty contest entry! Write your nomination in the comments and I will add the text to the post. Glory awaits the winner.

El Teide





The following have been added from the comments

Mount Thielsen

“I guess my aesthetics run in a different direction, and there’s the question of what counts as a volcano for this purpose, but I’d take a gothic plug like Shiprock or a dramatically eroded summit like Mt. Thielsen over a symmetrical cone any day.” (Jackson Frishman)

Kronotsky Volcano

“Kronotsky definitely deserves a shoutout here. Highly symmetrical, quite pointy, yet it doesn’t have historical eruptions that people are aware of. It’s a bit more eroded than others here as a result, yet still maintains the perfect conical profile in a beautiful region.” (cbus20122)

Mount Rainier

“I’ll always have soft spot for Rainier as well. Anybody who has been to the Seattle / Tacoma region on a clear day knows how impressive and almost otherworldly Rainier is in the skyline. It’s just as beautiful up close too despite not being a perfect conical volcano.” (cbus20122)


“For the whole package, the view from Panajachel to Lake Atitlán with its 3 volcanoes is my personal favorite” (Virtual)

Diamond Head

“Since others have put forth ancient volcanic edifices, I nominate Diamond Head on O’ahu, HI, USA as a beautiful & welcome sight for sailors returning to Pearl Harbor from the Western Pacific.” (Mike Steussy)

Over to you!

Albert, September 2022, at the end of the second Elizabethan age. The first Elizabethan age ended soon after the devastating Huaynaputina. The second one lasted until just after Hunga Tonga, the loudest volcano since Krakatau. They were worthy endings.

Beauty of another order. Was this the most beautiful eruption in the world?

243 thoughts on “Golden volcanoes

  1. Brilliant analysis and analogy. My ‘racket’ has been employing those concepts for years, as you’ve indicated with your references to facial proportions.

  2. Mount Mcloughlin in southern Oregon looks like a perfect cone from the west.
    The east/north side is heavily eroded, however.
    We used to hike it and snowboard down in college years ago.

  3. Volcanoes like Shishaldin, Klyuchevsky and Villaricca are very young and show little erosion and probaly mostly made of materials from tall lava fountains and short clastogenic lava flows.. all are basaltic stratovolcanoes among the most perfect specimens

    High sillica volcanoes are either lumpy volcanoes like domes or caldera complexes

    Althrough some andesite volcanoes are fluid enough To be cone like as well

  4. One thing that might be worth considering is most people imagine a volcano to be with a large crater and a lava lake inside. Given the relevant timeframe when Volcanology as a field was created, our whole concept of a volcano is most likely based on Vesuvius, I think it deserves a place on the wall of fame.

    Also to bring up Kilauea. Its not even really visible from the ground and hardly looks like a ‘volcano’ but it is because of HVO and the early observations of Halemaumau that today a volcano with a lava lake on a tropical island is so ubiquitous, if you think of volcano abd dont get the above impression then you probably picture this instead. I think it at least deserves a mention. I might also be biased but to me it is also beautiful, in a different way to Fuji, it is like seeing a glimpse of the Earth from a distant time where the Hadean eon never ended.

  5. I guess my aesthetics run in a different direction, and there’s the question of what counts as a volcano for this purpose, but I’d take a gothic plug like Shiprock or a dramatically eroded summit like Mt. Thielsen over a symmetrical cone any day.

    • I think many people will agree with you: those have character.

  6. Kronotsky definitely deserves a shoutout here. Highly symmetrical, quite pointy, yet it doesn’t have historical eruptions that people are aware of. It’s a bit more eroded than others here as a result, yet still maintains the perfect conical profile in a beautiful region.

    I’ll always have soft spot for Rainier as well. Anybody who has been to the Seattle / Tacoma region on a clear day knows how impressive and almost otherworldly Rainier is in the skyline. It’s just as beautiful up close too despite not being a perfect conical volcano.

    • Mt Rainier on the 405 morning commutes sure beat the views of the Elmhurst Gas Tanks on the LIE heading west into Manhattan.

    • Agreed with Mount Rainier. One added with Littele tahoma Peak on the side

  7. For symmetry – not from all angles – I would go for Arenal in Costa Rica as a candidate.
    For the whole package, the view from Panajachel to Lake Atitlán with its 3 volcanoes is my personal favorite.
    And I have to add, Mt Fuji is not that beautiful without the snow as it was when I visited ( I did not expect that at all, being indoctrinated by all the images of the mountain everywhere)
    Out of my head, Osorno in Chile I also remember as being very beautiful.(I just checked, it also depends on the angle)

    Plenty more (Popocatepetl) but hard to choose and I haven”t even been to Indonesia or Philippines where I suspect many candidates

    • I had wondered about Fuji without the snow! And of course, as pointed out in the comments, the rough and eroded cones can be much more impressive. Maybe not in the sense of beauty, but beauty isn’t everything. I loved the Breadknife in the Warrumbungles in Australia (and yes, that is volcanic). A thin dike eroded out of the rock and towering above you on the path. At least that is how I remember it.

  8. It also goes without saying that usual and customary usage conflates the word ‘volcano’ with volcanic edifice. It’s the latter we are comparing in this conversation.

  9. Thank you, Albert and all. Since others have put forth ancient volcanic edifices, I nominate Diamond Head on O’ahu, HI, USA as a beautiful & welcome sight for sailors returning to Pearl Harbor from the Western Pacific.

  10. Beautiful musings.
    I believe that beauty can be spoiled by overuse. Let’s say Beethoven’s sixth symphony Pastorale which I am picking out as it fits well with the landscapes in here is one of the most beautiful works in the world of classical music. As soon as you hear it often enough as background music in supermarkets the beauty fades. For people who are not into classical music I recommend to watch Disney’s Fantasia (the original) with the conductor Stokowsky. There it is an amazing story.

    This applies to Fuji. It has been overused. Teide is the only Strato with a shadow in the Atlantic Ocean. So I will stick half to Teide as a single volcano and half to Amatitlán as a supervolcano with several cones.

    Concening the Queen: Frankly, physically she wasn’t that beautiful after the age of 50. But the style then was awful. Her sudden smile and her humour popping up (Paddigton Bear) was extraordinarily beautiful. Her dignity too. So there is more to beauty than just the appearance. With actresses it is the expression and the spontaneity. So, I cannot find many more striking appearances than this wonderfil young Julia in “Pretty Woman”. But then, for the older woman, Katherine Hepburn in “Perfect Love Affair” can hardly be beaten.

    So, I’d say it is much more complex. Beauty can change abruptly when a person opens the mouth and starts speaking.
    So, speaking included this needs a sequel: Erupting stratos. Nyaragongo has a chance- then.
    Names are important too. El Donyio Lengai is somehow a beautiful name for me.

    Thank you for the amazing Dali-painting and the explanation of the golden ratio. Perfect. Didn’t know the paiting.

    Beauty is also influenced by good experience. One cannot forget El Teide waking up om Isla de La Palma*s east side having a good time.

    What I find excruciatingly beautiful this week was the British people saying Good-Bye to their life-long rock.
    A volcano of collective grief. God Save the King.

  11. I find Mount Ararat beautiful. It just looks powerful and yet dignified.

    • I think you are right Albert. Beauty is not exemplified by something perfectly symmetrical and conforming, it requires a bit of unpredictability. In fact our minds tend to think something must be amiss when we see something utterly perfect, without error and repetitive. The universe tends towards entropy.

      I find caldera lakes quite serene, the Apoyo crater in Nicaragua is also gorgeous.
      The ash cloud on St.Vincent was also something to behold, the enormity of it, the intermittent lightning, like a looming threat, almost like Sauron was slowly descending upon the south side.
      And then you have something like Paektu mountaintop in winter.

    • Yes, the twin peak of Ararat are majestic. The younger symmetrical and the older bigger and bearing the scars

    • I’ve sometimes thought of Ararat as the Lonely Mountain. Truly majestic. Also, odd location, not where you would expect to find an stratovolcano, away from any active subduction. It has actually more than twice the volume of Etna volcano, and many young voluminous lava flows on its flanks, it is a sleeping giant.

      • I don’t think he is lonely, just looks like it.
        But basically he is in one row with the earthquake zone in he north of Turkey and then next, in the east, there is the Caspian Sea and south of it Damavand. So let me add Damavand near Tehran:

        It’s the African Plate here, and a few million years ago there was subduction as Thethys subducted here.

      • It isn’t my favourite country, but it is not the mountain’s fault nature being unguilty.

        Si I make him my favourite for beauty to add new:

  12. What use to call the roof of Europe which is basically the main dump of the African plate isn’t bad either:

    and a little further east:

    1. Matterhorn, Switzerland
    2. Aiguille du Midi, France
    3. Langkofel/Sasslong, Italy

    No stratos albeit beauties

    Photo 3 removed for excessive size

    • This reminds me of Lord of the Rings, with the jagged peaks reaching for the sky.

      “See! The beacons of Gondor are alight, calling for aid. War is kindled. See, there is the fire on Amon Dîn, and flame on Eilenach; and there they go speeding west: Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad, and the Halifirien on the borders of Rohan.”

      • Yes. CS Lewis was influenced by the Alps as well. Both, Lewis and Tolkien were friends at the Uni, I think Oxford (Lewis was in Cambridge too). In Cambridge they use to call Oxford “The other place” I heard. I wonder what they say in Manchester.

    • 3 (aka Sassolungo in Italian, Sasslong in Ladinian) in hopefully better size, seen from the north:

      The picture has been taken from Sass Pordoi.
      Don’t take him away again. We say he is alive, call him King Laurin, and so he might be hurt. If he’s hurt he gets his bonnet of clouds out of the shelves nearby and takes a nap.

      • Thanks, will let this one stand! In all its glory. By the way, we had to bin another comment from you which was intercepted by the deamon. The pictures in it were just too large even in this high speed internet era.

  13. Shishaldin in Alaska deserves a much better picture but I am not yet voted on the most beautiful cone

  14. I guess my vote is for Mayon Volcano as the most perfect cone example –

    • I’ve always thought so, but there’s so much competition.

  15. if the golden ratio is an indicator of “beauty”, what is “ugly”?
    My vote for the ugliest is Salton Buttes:

    • Yes, BillG, the post is off topic, but recently I attempted to publish via Taylor and was astounded to discover that they bought out over 2000+ scientific journals and on the way for owning a thousand more. 3 companies now seem to own most of the intellectual publishing output of the planet.. scary indeed!!!! This quietly happened while most of us were asleep.

  16. Great article Albert.
    I teach a class at festivals called Color Theory and the Golden Mean. In the class we learn how to use the Fibonacci Sequence as a simple way to approximate the Golden Mean. IMHO and experience any object incorporating Fibonacci, will always sell before designs that ignore its power. My students will often express their belief that Fibonacci is evidence of divine influence. To me it shows the power of mathematics and fractal geometry.
    Great photos all!

  17. I fully admit my bias from having seen it in person, but I’m going with an unusual pick in Snæfellsjökull. It dominates the tip of the Snæfellsness peninsula and together with the circumferential park around the volcano, creates some otherworldly beautiful scenery.

    • The third pic is the best me thinks as there is some relief with the other volcanoes in the background.
      Beauty as Albert mentioned rightly needs some features. A wrinkled person can be beautuful.

  18. ?attachment&modal

    Villaricca also scores high, even higher than Nyiragongo in perfect ness. Its a young simple basalt stratocone, erupting the most fluid lava among subduction volcanoes in South America.

    Althrough Mauna Loa will always be the most Beautful volcano for me: because of its size and huge capacity for eruption

    • I love the first image. If volcanoes can be evocative and eruptive at the same time

    • That first picture is really cool, Jesper. Thanks for the post

  19. What about a shield volcano? Jabal al Qidr in Arabia is nice example of a symmetrical shield volcano.

    • I’m really going for Villarica though. Nothing can top those magnificent lava fountains.

      I was looking at Villarica in Google Earth when Lanin towered in the background. The steepness of the cone is remarkable, more than 40 % down to almost the base of the edifice. Lanin is steeper than many mafic stratovolcanoes, which gives it something impressive. The cone is not as perfect as that of a mafic stratovolcano though.

      • Amon Amarth/ Orodruin
        for soure

        Only thing at Villaricca thats missing is an entrance into the cone Sammath Naur


        Paper on some of the eruptions at Villarrica in the 20th century. It really is like a massive version of Pu’u O’o, a lava fountain cone with a lava lake, only it has been going on for 3700 years instead of 3 🙂

        2015 eruption was 4.7 million m3 of lava in under an hour, or an eruption rate of 1300 m3/s. The much bigger eruption in 1971 had similar massive fountains except instead of erupting from the single summit crater they blew out of a fissure that split the mountain in two. It can be seen on the top left of this image.

        Also this video, from about 2 minutes in.

          • Probably would have been a lot like the tall fountaining eruptions just a lot more voluminous. There is actually a video of a pyroclastic flow in 2015, it doesnt have a big ashy plume like is typical but a big slide of glowing material does move down the steep upper bit of the mountain. The same thing happens a lot on Etna when it erupts, and also on Fuego where they turn into proper pyroclastic flows on the steep slope. The paper also mentions ‘scoria flow’ as distinct from ignimbrite, I wonder if these flows behave more like a lava flow but move much faster, sliding down under its own weight rather than flowing as a liquid but otherwise keeping its lava flow characteristics. We havent really seen a basaltic eruption that has made an ignimbrite, Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai was not too far off but was in the ocean so rather null in this context. But I imagine the low viscosity of the melt would lead to basaltic ignimbrites having somewhat different characteristics of emplacement than a silicic ignimbrite even if the basic properties are similar in the end.

            I guess it must have been more explosive at some stage though if there is a large lithic percentage.

    • Must have formed through pulses of a huge pulsing overflowing lava lake

      Jabal al Qidr must have been an insane eruption! a rather little like an Insane version of Fagradalshraun .. Qidrs lava flows are also piled up into a shield it must have lasted over a decade or two depending on speed

      The smaller shield of Qidr produced a 50 kilometers long pahoehoe flow anyway

      • Some shields probably formed slowly for the most part, with maybe a short opening sequenceo f fast eruptions followed by decades of pahoehoe flows. But some look like they formed in faster eruptions, and have got sheet flows that turn to a’a further away, these look a lot like Fagradalshraun. Some shields look like a combination of the two. I guess Pu’u O’o is a bit of a combination too, as it spent years eruption with fast a’a flows episodically but then went directly to slow effusion from flank vents without an overflowing lava lake stage.

        I wouldnt put it as impossible that Fagradalshraun doesnt become a big eruption like this. Just because the last eruption was not a long lived event doesnt mean future eruptions will all be small compared to the eruption of 2021. And the fact this last eruption did happen shows the 2021 eruption was not just a random fluke event but is actually ongoing, as long as the source stays active there will be more to come 🙂

        If that doesnt happen then Hawaii will give something, Kilauea seems to be in a routine habit of making them. There have been no less than 5 different open conduits formed by eruptions there in the past 70 years, with 2 becoming shields and another (right now) looking to be at least equivalently persistent. There were even 2 at the same time for a decade… Far as I can tell there has probably not been a single decade without an eruption in Hawaii in at least 300 years, the closest was the 7 year gap from 1942 to 1949 and half of that gap was during WW2…

    • In this picture, Hector, is the gray lava next to Jabal al Qidr erupted from it or from the two cone complex above it?

      • Those two cones you mention are surrounded by younger Jabal al Qidr lavas. You can tell the Jabal al Qidr lavas from the rest because they are bicolored, black and gray. Black where the lava surface is broken-up aa, gray where it is smooth, glassy pahoehoe.. Older lavas are a more homogeneous dull brown.

  20. Btw, Mount Damavand, one of the Seven Peaks, is the highest volcano in Asia, so it must beat Fuji. It is supposed to be dormant with many ???? as it has last erupted 5300 years ago and there is not exactly a lot of data.

    I believe that nobody would place a bet on dormancy as Damavand’s position is north of the Bitlis-Zagros-Fault-and-Thrust-Belt:

    Good material for a sequel to the North Anatolian Fault, Albert?
    Possibly not a great amount of data though.

    So, concerning height, Damavand also beats Mayon. As to activity Mayon is in front. Maybe we should create beauties per continent.

    Ross Island (not sure whether the peak is Mount Erebus, somebody might help:

    Map in here:

    • I would not want to fall into that very choppy 1 deg C water.

  21. Stratovolcano (Late Cretacious or Early Paleocene) with considerable erosion:
    Name: Hector and possibly everybody else will reconize it in no time. Beauty only from right angle, no contestant:

    • Younger than Cretaceous I guess woud be eroded down to a smooth pile If it was Cretaceous in Age

      Coud be a Late Miocene or Pliocene volcano

      • No as it is enormous, and the Nazca Plate is still being subducted, so it is still growing and being eroded at the same time. It belongs to the Seven Summits. Last volcanism is estimated between the Late Cretacious and the Early Paleocene.

  22. Last but not least the oldies, volcanoes in the Ordovician: Crib Goch Ridge, Mount Snowdon, Wales (they are no part of the beauty contest):

    Finished. I had a lot of fun and will follow this.

    As to age and Wales. God bless the late Queen, God save the King, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the United Kingdom and the Commonweath, united in Grief. As I am with them in thought I had to add some region in the UK. Some may find beauties in the commonwealth of course (besides Big Ben, Heard Island, Australia).

  23. One of my stupid questions:
    HTHH is out of the contest being a submarine volcano. But: If it had grown on would it be a shield or a strato? I’d say a strato, but hoestly, I can’t tell for sure.

    Video before eruption by NASA:

  24. What now? I do think you defined prettyness, not beauty. Beauty cannot be definded. And let me not forget David Bowie’s wife Iman

    or Japanes beauties, for that matter

  25. Quote Albert: “The first claims that the golden ratio appears in art date to the time of Leonardo da Vinci. In fact, these claims were applied to his work while the master was still working. We don’t have a statement from the artist himself, so this has remained controversial.”

    I think it is right:

    Annunciation, Galleria degli Uffici, Florence

    Going on I found lots of examples in the Renaissance Art

  26. This was a very beautiful and inspiring piece reminding me of Carl’s piece about colours.
    Giving it some thought I came to the conclusion that the rule can be used for paintings, stratovolcanoes (and sometimes shields as Hector mentioned) and architecture (Taj Mahal, the above mentiones pyramids), but not for people as people can be beautiful by different means, there is more to them, and people look different if we think of Asians and Africans as well. Thank you for the great piece and a good weekend to everybody:

    St. George’s Chapel, Windsor:

  27. Tuyas would be interesting in that context! The nice shape of Herdubreid comes to mind, probably it fits the golden cut quite well!

    • It’s hard to add the lost top as Albert has done with Fuji – I tried with Table Mountain, BC, Can – but they must have sunk on top of themselves and become wider. With Herdubreid you’d get High up, the ration would been lost.

  28. Mount Taranaki looks quite circular but I think it’s a national park or where they’ve trimmed the treeline back to, in almost a perfect circular/ovular shape. Also has a little baby Taranaki, Fanthams peak.

  29. Such lovely volcanoes should never collapse or be damaged, leave the big nasty eruptions for ugly volcanoes!

    • I think it’s particularly fascinating to imagine extant calderas before their collapse events back in their strato phase.

      What large calderas likely had the most impressive or interesting edifices?

      • Maybe Aniakchak when we take a look at the existing edifices there. But basically nobody knows what the edifices looked like. Nobody knows whether Fuji looked about the same or Teide, I mean their predecessors before collapsing. The only measurable thing is their volume.
        I imagine that they were steep enough to produce a flank collapse first or a collapse right away. And they were probably around 4000 m high.
        But then, Taupo might have been higher.

        • This is probably a stupid question but I genuinely aren’t sure; was there a mountain edifice at the current location of the Taupo caldera? If so that’s wild and never read that (have consumed a lot about Hatepe and Oruanui as well as some of its smaller events).

          • Well, I guess so:
            “Taupo is the location of the largest eruption of the previous millennium, around the year 230. It was a solid VEI-7 and among the largest eruptions of the holocene. But that wasn’t the eruption that formed Lake Taupo, although it did enlarge it. The lake formed some 25 thousand years ago in a much larger eruption. This was the most recent VEI 8 on Earth; it ejected 5 times as much volume as there is water in the current lake.”

      • Tambora and Samalas seem to have had massive stratovolcano edifices. Most calderas though are not good at building impressive mountains, they erupt from many different vents over a wide area, so they tend to make more broad inconspicuous edifices. The majority of calderas collapse many times over and over again, so they build plateaus made up of ignimbrite sheets.

        • I guess we would need to separate between strato-collapse calderas like the two you mentioned and something like Mazama, and then caldera systems that do repeat ignimbrites like from your recent Italy article. I was definitely thinking of the former, more “end stage” stratovolcanoes that destructed for the final time.

          This is definitely good info though and a good distinction to be aware of, before reading some of your articles I would’ve assumed most volcanic calderas always had a strato or even some kind of composite mountain edifice previously.

          • I think that stratovolcanoes and calderas are different classes of volcanism. For example calderas erupt crystal poor magmas with 20 % crystals. So I think they are fundamentally different styles of volcanism. Caldera volcanoes keep much of the magma inside, while stratovolcanoes erupt it all out, they are open systems. You can have a volcano switch between them though.

            Hunga Tonga, for example, historically is known to have erupted only crystal-poor magmas. Like a caldera-system. Some of the oldest lavas that are more than 1000 years old are crystal rich though, and probably date from a phase of stratovolcano building.

            Krakatau erupted crystal-poor magmas in its 1883. But now it is erupting crystal-rich magmas. After the destruction of the magma chamber in 1883 it has reverted from caldera to stratovolcano building.

          • Caldera volcanoes erupt less than 20 % crystals. Stratovolcanoes erupt more than 20 % crystals. Crystals here meaning phenocrysts.

          • A great example of the difference between a stratovolcano and a caldera is the volcanic pair of Quetrupillan and Lanin. In this image you can see Quetrupillan volcano lying in the foreground, more broad, shield-like, and Lanin towering in the background, a typical stratovolcano.

            Quetrupillan has phenocryst poor dacitic/trachytic lavas, with 5-12 % crystals. Lanin, instead, is a phenocryst rich volcano at 17-33 % crystals. Nearby Villarica is also crystal rich (at least in its recent lava lake activity), and has 25-45 % phenocrysts. Although Villarica has had caldera style activity in the past.

            Quetrupillan last eruptions make a ring of lava domes and flows which probably come from cone sheet intrusions around the magma chamber of the volcano. This means it has a large shallow magma chamber that will likely collapse in the future.

          • Do shields also have crystal rich magma on average? Kilauea is variable but most eruptions are very crystal poor. But evidently as can be seen at Villarrica crystal rich doesnt necessarily mean the magma is viscous.

          • Shield volcanoes and volcanic fields usually have crystal poor magmas. Many shield volcanoes are “small” caldera systems anyways, like Kilauea. Other shield volcanoes can be said to be volcanic fields.

            Other than stratovolcanoes, I think some kimberlites and melilitites are highly crystal rich.

          • I wonder if the crystal poor nature of most calderas is actually why they can erupt so big. Even in silicic magma a low crystal content would be expected to be relatively fluid, or even truly liquid. This melt would flow easier and be able to erupt more from a smaller dike, so initiate a caldera formation. Crystal mush or something similar would also probably be able to hold some weight, but a crystal poor magma would be rather bad at it, any reduction in pressure would set off a runaway process. Kilauea demonstrated this in 2018, where it only took 5% of the volume of magma in the magma chamber draining out to set the caldera machine in motion. Future calderas could be predicted by looking for volcanoes that have recently created a large melt pocket. Regarding Kilauea that 5% number is only about 80 million m3, which would tell the 2018 magma chamber had formed after 1960 or that eruption would have also been a caldera. It probably also happened after 1975. These chamber aggregation events might be very fast.

            Fluid magmas being able to create ignimbrite calderas has completely changed my perspective on how calderas might form. The traditional view of course is that explosive calderas are viscous and it is the explosive fragmentation of the magma that allows it to fluidise and escape but we now have got a very good observation that this is not a requirement or even a common process at all.
            The other thing that made me think is that some more evolved magmas can still be very fluid even well into the high intermediate range. The phonolitic lava lake of Erebus, the violebt but still mostly effusive fissure eruptions of Hekla, Fissure 17 at Kilauea. Maybe most importantly to this though, the extensive a’a floods from Craters of the Moon are not basalt but trachyandesite, but still flowed great distances and even have some pahoehoe texture. Tambora erupted crystal poor trachyandesite that is slightly more evolved but very similar. Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai also erupted crystal poor basaltic andesite, which would have been fluid, and that didnt stop it blowing up… A world away from the spiny lava domes that are so often associated with silicic eruptions.

    • Really Big calderas dont have edifices at all really .. They make pyroclastic sheets and plateaus

  30. Golden Ratio Face and timelessly beautiful:

    Caterina Sforza, here by Bronzino. That’s why many Renaissance Painters used her face, Botticelli being one of them.

    The ratio nearly fits with all of Leonardo’s paintings, but not with Salvator Mundi, body too long, fingers too long, face too long. I am with the group of art historiens who to not believe Leonardo was the painter here.

    • The best painter to test this, imho, is Botticelli. As you can place a circle into those tringles over Fuji I also tried it with a tondo, tringle outside:

      It’s easy with Renaissance paintings as they often have a volcano rising in the middle, either Mary or the Crucified. So, Dali would have studied them in great detail.

      Image replaced with one with more palatable size. Please check size before linking. – admin

    • Albert,

      better size, btw, I’ll keep that point in mind.

      • Good sizes are 100kb to a few times more. Anything over 1Mb is too large (remember that each image is reloaded often). The ones we removed were between 15Mb and 80Mb.

        • Wow, I”ll check in the future.

          Hope this is not too large, Stratovolcano before collapse by Pieter Brueghel the Older 😉

        • Well, it says the one I posted has 202 MB.
          The other version he painted of his volcano (Babalsfjall or so) has only 18 MB. So here in case you have to remove the first one:

          Didn’t know I had to look for that. 100 kB seems a bit poor.

        • Mistake. This is the one of Babelsfjall with 18 MB:

          18MB: removed the link bit .. Please remember people reading VC on their phone with an unfavourable contract. This image had 5000 by 4000 pixels. 500 pixels tends to be fine for display – admin

          • So, one of the others can go or both if too large a volume.

            Very embarrasiing. Told my daughter to read your article plus comments. Nothing as bad as a poor show in front of family.

      • Jesper, keep in mind, this size not wanted here for technical reasons, too predatory:
        We have to go Fuji, small size.

        Image removed: 6MB is a bit large even for T Rex

        • This is something we often do wrong on our own posts as well. WP as default tends to reduce images to 700 pixels or so. That is adequate for almost all displays people would use to read a blog. But this image reduction is not used in comments, as far as I can see. Many of the images on wikimedia are at full resolution, perhaps 2500-5000 pixels across. That can explode the size by a factor of 100. It is better to look for images that are created for instant display: in the wikipedia articles, often reduced-size images are used which may be better suited. The problem showed up on this post in particular because it was all about images.

          • Don’t wanna anooy you, just trying to get it.
            Like this?:

            Or this?:

          • Yes, for most things in the comments this seize works perfectly well. Twice that size would still be ok. Larger is perhaps best done by providing the link. The map you liked of the Pacific Ocean is at lower resolution in the post, but linked to a full resolution image. Links in WP comments are hit and miss; we have no control over what is presented as link and what is shown as the image itself.

          • So, I’ll refrain from posting pics as the size is ridiculous. And reading VC on small devices is a pity as one misses a lot. My youngsters read a lot on their mob. phones, but decidedly not VC.
            I imagine that beautiful map of the Pacific Ocean on a cell phone, and I shudder. VC needs computers, unless somebody is out there somewhere watching a volcano.

  31. Last month of quakes on Kilauea, no quakes at all along the ERZ conduit but it looks like the SWRZ is moving, the same area that saw the intrusion just before the current eruption started a year ago. Maybe Kilauea will go southwest instead of east for its next rifting sequence, there are quite a lot of cones in that area formed by high fountaining eruptions that have been largely absent in the historical record.

    Eruptions here seem to be at least initially of very high intensity, like was seen in 1974, the only well observed eruption to originate from the SWRZ properly. That eruption had effusion rates of over 1500 m3/s and lava from it flowed 12 kmaway in only a few hours overnight on the last day of that year, was like a flood basalt in miniature, there might even be some erosion where it flowed alongside a fault scarp. Pu’u Koae and the Kamakaia eruptions also began with fast eruptions that then slowed down and made cones, although neither were quite so intense as above.

    Also of not is the quakes at Kaoiki, not a high intensity swarm but it is pretty obvious a cluster is in that area. This area seems to respond to magma movement in the deeper plumbing area of Kilauea, a lot of swarms preceded intrusions by a few months. The lava lake elevation is now at 890 meters above sea level, it could be getting high enough to start pushing magma into the rifts after all just not the one we are expecting… 🙂

      • The caldera GPS is showing a return to dilation again. But it is also quite clear now that at least a few of the individual stations around the south caldera are rising too, OUTL, CRIM and AHUP, the deep supply rate is overtaking the rate of filling of the lake. There is no such rising at Mauna Ulu though so no magma is going into the ERZ, just slow deflation there as the south flank moves and takes away pressure.

        Would guess there is potentially a risk of another summit eruption happening, along the south caldera area and Keanakako’i. Not for a while still but probably within a year.

    • That’s a strange earthquake distribution. No quakes in the connector conduits though, which they both flare with earthquakes before any eruption or intrusion happens.

      • Yes, thats why I hypothesised that this is a process in the deeper plumbing, below the magma chamber under Halemaumau (or Keanakako’i or Kilauea Iki, they are probably all at the same depth). It is the same sort of deformation pattern that was seen some months in advance of the last eruption whe nthere was no ongoign activity last year, a gladual inflation but with no obvious signals, those appear only within a couple weeks before something breaks out it looks like.

        It will be very interesting if the SWRZ undergoes a large scale rifting episode like what the ERZ did from 1955-2018. In principal it should be able to but in practice there has only been one historical eruption there that actually happened from the rift, in 1974, the others were shallow summit intrusions. There are quite a number of pyroclastic cones on the SWRZ that suggest conduits of some description do form there sometimes and allow fountaining. Most of the area today is surfaced with the Observatory pahoehoe but a lot of the underlying lava is a’a and soem flows are actually pretty massive, which would suggest frequent fast and sometimes rather large eruptions on the SWRZ about 1000 years ago.
        The SWRZ also has not had a major flank slip since 1868, compared to two major quakes on the ERZ south flank in the interval since (and in the same place), if that section slides it might induce rifting like happened after 1975 that lead to the creation of Pu’u O’o.

        • The mobile flank of Kilauea ends at the Kamakaia Hills. There is a strike-slip fault there which connects with the surface expression of the mobile flank fault offshore. Spreading is much stronger along the ERZ. In particular the dike swarms of Hiiaka, Pauahi, Aloi, Alae, Makaopuhi and Napau take up almost all the spreading of Kilauea. This includes the Koae Fault System as well, which is often intruded by the first four of the aforementioned swarms. The fastest flank slip is in the area adjacent to the Chain of Craters. That is why the Southwest Rift is very weak compared to the East Rift. It only gets some leftover tensional stresses from the ERZ. And downrift from Kamakaia there isn’t any spreading. In contrast the Puna Ridge of Kilauea can spread, but because intrusions are not so common there, it doesn’t spread anywhere near as much as the Chain of Craters section. It is possible that at times the Puna Ridge spreads faster and has more activity, but the Southwest Rift is structurally incapable, because of Loihi’s buttressing effect.

          • Slow spreading is still going to add up over time though. And there was quite some rifting in the area in the 1970s-1980s before Pu’u O’o, which may have been cut short before it could erupt more.

            Kamakaia is the youngest of the cones, and still at least 200 years old. That might highlight the last time rifting took place here up until the 1970s. I have seen a report for there being a substantial quake in 1823 that may have set off that years eruption as well. I dont know if the 1868 quake moved this section, although presumably it did.

          • The 1823 earthquake is generally thought to have affected the same area as the 2018, and 1975 earthquakes. The reason is that it did large damage in Kaimu. But of course not much is known about it. It does seem to have briefly preceded the Keaiwa eruption.

          • Would make sense it is in that area I guess, it might never be known for sure. Maybe then the collapse of that year was not entirely into the Keaiwa eruption then but also had an ERZ component, like happened in 1832 and 1840, and probably also 1868.

            It would though be a plausible reason why Keaiwa is such a a long fissure, the quake may have slipped further west than the strike slip fault, so allowing a rare eruption that far west. Effectively the eruption was accidental when a quake fault ruptured the edge of the caldera, and the lava lake drained down the fault and flowed out the other end.

          • I could follow you two discussing and debating this stuff for hours! Great stuff.

  32. This is problematic as it basically demands two sites, one for (mostly young or Asian) smart phone users and one for people like me, people who like American kitchens, the GE fridge, the Hummer (although) and American and other landscapes and volcanoes not squeezed into miniature sizes. Miniature sizes are good for Legoland or Disney world, but not for the real world.

    I reject them. I also reject maps on my phone, and as my car doesn’t have a sat nav I bought a set of decent maps, and when I go to France I buy the Michelin map for the area.

    I even reject booking on my i-phone as the pics of the hotels are too small to decide whether I survive the visit.

    So, this is two kinds of living, and my kind doesn’t need reading glasses, not now and not later. So if people cannot see the Matterhorn in good size on their cell phones I don’t need to post it, as I myself can go see it with my eyes. It is too big a beauty for a shitty little size, the same goes for a lot of landscape.

    I use my phone for phoning, btw. Personal pics for memory. No selfies ever. Maybe that’s why I’m still alive and sometimes a fumarole.

    And now I know also why some poeple don’t even read the articles till the end.

    • I know the perfect answer for you. Write a post! You can add images with links to the ones at full resolution, the ones the readers should really see. And you can discuss volcanic beauty versus a pretty cone, perfection versus character, and any other visual volcanic aspect. The only condition is that the reader should have the choice whether or not to download the full image. As I said, we do not always get this right ourselves either.

  33. We’ll see. Thank you in any case, very kind.
    The DM that I like for picture quality has the solution: A perfectly accaptable size in the article and the possibility to enlarge. But maybe that is too expensive for a rather small blog. The DM has money. Examples:

    I myself was giving thought to saving up for an i-Mac or at least MSI-screen just for VC and landscape. But with the rising costs and inflation the idea is shelved for the time being.

  34. Albert

    btw when you try yourself in the Leonardo anununciation which might interest you: I chose to go parallel to Gabriel’s body ignoring the arm and rigt through Mary’s lap. I got a good result.
    I think it works also here:

    (Small, 😉 unfinished anyway, Gallerie degli Uffizi) and in all the virgin settings in the National Gallery, London and the Louvre, Paris.

    It cannot work in his Last Supper being like a fresco as he had to use the space in the church (fill the wall) whereas Dali’s Sacrament of the Last Supper is a free painting, so he was free. It is unfortunately not a real fresco, but yet had to fill a wall in a convent.
    So I believe that this rule cannot be applied to

  35. And there If the worlds most famous fictional volcano: Tolkiens Orodruin/Amon Amarth or simply Mount Doom the great volcano in the heart of Mordor, known in the elven tounge Quenya as Orodruin: the Mountain of Red Flame or Mountain of Fates in the tounges of Men ( humans )

    Orodruin was pretty much the most feared place in the entire Middle Earth / Arda for the other pepoles, with its dark forces used and that was tapped into by the rulers Sauron and Morgoth for their lust of powers over the pepoles of Middle Earth. Far more than a Normal volcano, the ruling cabinett of Mordor coud controll its eruptions, and its eruptions was increased when Sauron was present in Mordor. Orodruin was highly active in the Second and Third Age of Middle Earth with the dark lord Sauron present there, Orodruin threw out so much materials that the land of Mordor was always encased in an ashy darkness ”darkness of mordor” Two major wars where fought there over the ring

    It also appears that Sauron and his war generals in Mordor used the volcano for his war machine, channeling the lava towards Barad Dur and using its ash in the South as fertilizer To feed armies of Orcs and Goblins, the harsh wastelands around Orodruin is full of military camps and munitions factories so perhaps the Orcs used metals in the lava as well for their war industry against the free pepoles of Middle Earth.

    Tokien soure had a fascination for volcanoes with Orodruin and the One Ring that was forged in it representing the enormous and uncontrollable energy that exist in volcanoes

    Tolkiens Legendarium is soo very deep so I barely srached the surface, but I do plann a seriers for VC about the History of Mount Doom and its geography and importance in Tolkiens Legendarium, Althrough that will take time.

    Its also sad that ”Mordor The Land Of Shadow” that was the best webbsite on the entire internet on Mordor and Mount Doom.. was shut down in 2019 .. as I coud use its source materials to write my seriers on Orodruin for VC

    Defentivly a famous volcano even If its not real

    • Not to forget to mention Sammath Naur .. the cracks of Doom ”The Doomsday Fissure of Orodruin” where the ring was destroyed

      And as well as the deadly wastelands of Gorgoroth around this volcano

      There are 100 s of geographical locations in Mordor alone .. The Land Of Shadow webbsite explored Mordor excellently so dissapointed that it vanished

  36. Suddenly our life seems kind of short. Say goodbye to the first toddler:

    The second toddler will stay with us, our children and grandchildren and many generations to come:

    Edited on request of commenter

    • Are you sure you know the meaning of the term good riddance?

      • One of those English expressions that can easily be misunderstood

        • Seems so, I’ll look it up. Glad I had written before (under the mountain chain in Wales). I didn’t even know I liked her that much. I liked her, and then she died, and I cried, so I liked her a lot.
          When I saw the landscape out there in Windsor I felt a little homesick and wrote to my children: I love England. When I’m there I complain about the weather.

          I loved it that they took the corgis and the pony Emma to say Good-bye. They are a beautiful bunch of people. Hope they don’t forget the ten days.

          • It is the end of an era. For better or worse. With such rapid change, it gave a sense of stability, a connection with the world from before facebook. In the future it may become seen as a golden age, when change was for the better.

      • Maybe not, I’m sorry. I read it so often in the internet. So, I wish her Majesty may Rest in Peace. I was very moved by the celebrations today, the two services esp. the one in St. George’s Chapel, the wonderful people who lined the streets.

        I will look it up, must be bad.

        Thank you, Tomas Andersson , for addressing it.
        English can be mean for foreigners, the details. And the net.

        • I figured from the context that you probably didn’t mean it. An easy mistake to make for us non native english speakers.

          • FYI: good riddance is something you say when you’re glad that someone is finally gone, like when that awful neighbour finally moved, or when that prime minister you didn’t like resigned, or when someone like Saddam Hussein or Adolf Hitler died.

        • Looked it up. Wow. Didn’t mean that.

          You know what?: If we have an eternal life she is the only one who would know that I didn’t mean it like that. I was thinking of her horses and imagined her riding to Paradise. With Burmese, her beloved Burmese.

  37. The predicted track of typhoon Nanmadol follows the east coast of Japan. Mount Fuji should miss the worst.

    • what a crazy day. And Alaska still recovering from largest typhoon in 60 years that crossed to Arctic Ocean

      NWS Alaska Region

      Puerto Rico just lost all power from Hurricane Fiona with expected catastrophic flooding

      But for the beauty contest there is this:
      The Taipei 101 skyscraper has this damper with a mass of 728 tons & a diameter of 5.4 m. It helps stabilize the building in high winds & earthquakes.

      This is how it worked during the M6.9 earthquake on September 18, 2022

      • I remember watching a program on Tapei 101’s construction years ago and they had large earthquake mid-construction; the crane fell down and I think it crushed people where it landed.

        I remember them saying about the damper but I’ve never actually seen it in action.

        • Imagine sitting on it. You would not feel the EQ but have a generalized bad nausea from the building swaying around. you.

      • I had never seen one actually in action! The principle is simple but remarkably effective

  38. Lake Chungara, within the Lauca National Park in Chile, has views towards two absolutely beautiful, snow-clad volcanoes:

    Parinacota, a young symmetric cone with viscous lavas, and a large, deep, circular crater at the top:

    Nevado de Sajama, an old stratovolcano with eroded flanks:

  39. I would be remiss to not offer my personal favorite Volcano…Mt. Shasta and Shastina as seen from my back deck. Every morning I get to see the sunrise on this majestic mountain, and the golden red hues at sunset.
    Always there, sometimes dark and hiding, sometimes bright and shouting, sometimes pouting…always a different personality day to day…hour to hour….minute by minute.
    For those of us “Lemurians at heart”, there is an energy present that transcends mere visual symatries. There is a power and purpose to it all, and I for one am glad to have the privilege to share in it.

  40. Unfortunately not a stratovolcano, but a baby of the Pacific Plate:


  41. Albert

    I was wondering whether you could erase that one line. Probably not. Maybe you have to take the two pics and the talk between you and T Andersson and me out. I hope T Andersson wouldn’t mind.

    First of all in the age of FB many things, as you will have realized, are quoted out of context.
    Secondly imagine George, Charlotte or Louis stumbling into here one day and seeing it.

    I’d be very thankful if you got rid of it.

    I promise to keep in mind:
    1. To look some expessions up before posting.
    2. To keep an eye on pixels and make sure pics don’t come by google (didn’t see this).

    • The expression has been edited out from the comment. Deleting comments tends to cause problems, so we prefer not to do this: it can mess up the future comment streams. No harm done by an understandable and entirely excusable language slip.

      • I fully agree. It’s a nice reminder that it’s only human to make mistakes. After all, it’s from our mistakes that we learn. I once did something similar and said “oh, that’s terrific” about some really gruesome accident, when what I really meant to say was “oh, that’s terrible”.

    • and related to previous article here about Taupo, here is a thread about alert system in Taupo.

      Dr Sally Potter
      This is a monumental moment for me – my PhD was on recognising unrest at Taupo volcano, and when to change the Volcanic Alert Level. I hope you find this Bulletin below informative. I’ll link a few more resources that might be of interest below.

      • To put some context to the fact that it’s the “first” increase in alert level ever, it’s had higher levels of unrest in recorded history – but nothing happened, as per the chart below:

        I have vague memories of having a holiday in the area when i was 6 in 1964, when there were perhaps some articles in the news about increased activity and people were talking about it. Me a little bit scared, reassured that it was safe, the prime minister had a small holiday house just down the road and he was there, so it won’t let rip because he’d know…

        • More ‘Minor Unrest’ in recent years than prior but probably not that important on a geological timescale. It doesn’t do small if it does go off however, so important to stay vigilant.

          • Seems it most commonly does ~VEI 4’s with the occasional 5 and very infrequent 6+, no?

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