Santa Maria: volcano in denial

Before climate change denial, there was volcano denial. This is the story about a forbidden eruption, the one that was deleted from history. This is the suppressed eruption, the one that got away. Blame Iceland. This post had been up for barely one day when events in Iceland rapidly moved towards another -and potentially very…

Volcanism and the Christianization of Iceland

By Jean-Marie Prival, doctor in volcanology and founder of kīpuka magazine Like other natural disasters, volcanic eruptions can have an impact on civilizations. Of course they can annihilate them, but they can also contribute to their economic development by providing a valuable resource (obsidian, for example). Finally, they can influence their culture, giving rise to…

Gran Canaria

The Canary Islands are 7 volcanic islands off the coast of Africa. They are but the peaks of several massive shield volcanoes that have grown from the bottom of the ocean over the past 30 million years. The islands are older in the east, and younger in the west. Six out of seven are still…

The Monte Nuovo eruption

Seeing a hill rise up in front of your eyes where there was a lake just weeks before, and seeing it happen close to a major city, that would be something. Perhaps the Neapolitans could have stayed away – after all, the people living close-by were being pummelled with pumice while the new hill grew…

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Journeymen: the life scientific

VC is a hobby. Watching and discussing volcanoes can be one of the highlights of anyone’s day. No special background is required: everyone can join in, and anyone can spot something others missed. Here at VC, watchers discovered new vents during the first Fagradalsfjall eruption (well before we called it that) which the Icelandic authorities…

Tambora: making history

In between Lombok (the location of infamous Rinjani) and Flores (with the magic lakes of Kelimutu) is the island of Sumbawa. It lies in the heart of the most volcanic region of the most volcanic nation on Earth. The two largest eruptions of the last 1500 years both came from this region. Lombok has never…

A small update on Reykjanes and Hawaii

Today I’ve noticed that a swarm is taking place near the Grindavik in the Reykjanes Peninsula, this swarm is small but is probably related to the ongoing Reykjanes Fires. I will also use this chance to talk about the recently ended Kilauea eruption, its build-up, and what the future might hold for Kilauea. Earthquakes north…

The Morocco Marrakesh earthquake

Late on 8 September 2023, a major earthquake hit the region of the High Atlas mountains in Morocco. As of writing, the full extent of the damage is not yet known. The ancient city of Marrakesh, just north of the mountains, was hit badly. Settlements in the mountains themselves have not yet been reached. The…

Kerguelen and the demise of Gondwana

Much of our world is in hiding. It lies below the surface of the oceans and is largely invisible to us, a Maria Incognito. It is a hostile world: we are creatures of the solid ground, who long left the seas behind and cannot return. But more of this forbidden world is being uncovered, by…

Chiles-Cerro Negro: The Final Swarm

I’ve been tracking Chiles-Cerro Negro for almost 10 years now and it’s been an interesting ride to say the least, full of great highs and terrible lows. My odd relationship with this volcano is going to be on pause and I will be exploring other volcanoes. As such this will be the final article on…