The Hunga Tonga explosion

As more information comes in, it is time for a brief update, and for a theory on why the eruption of Hunga Tonga was so destructive for what was, after all, a fairly small volcano. The death toll of the tsunami at the moment stands at five, three at Tonga and two in Peru. There…

The VEI-5 millennium eruption of Hunga Tonga

It seemed to come out of nowhere. In the midst of a quiet interlude, after the hugely damaging La Palma had ended, when the hugely touristic eruption at Fagradalsfjall failed to re-appear, and the hugely underwatched eruption at Kilauea continued to be underwatched, whilst we were waiting for Reykjanes (which some had predicted to recur…

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…

White Christmas

From all of Us to all of You: A happy Christmas and a Volcanic New Year! Victoria Island Our story begins and ends in the far north of Canada. The sea between northwestern Canada and northwestern Greenland is filled by a series of ancient islands. In winter the sea is deeply frozen, and the islands…

Kilauea III. Rifts under Hawaii.

Here is the third part of my Kilauea series that was promised, a bit more delayed than I would have wished though. Many things have happened at Kilauea since the previous part. A sill intrusion took place in the Upper Southwest Rift in August, then on September 29, about a month after the sill, lava…

What if Katla erupted?

First of all, I should clearly state that there are no current signs that an eruption at Katla is about to happen in the near future. Instead, the reason is that I was asked by one of our readers, Patricio Oliver, what would happen if the volcano erupted, especially for the inhabited areas. This is…