Big basalt blasts III. Over the world.

2 posts ago I started talking about the pinnacle of basaltic explosivity, 2 posts later there is no mention of anything bigger than the Tarawera 1886 eruption. The eruption of Tarawera was a relatively common scenario of a dyke intruding below a lake, sure, the one responsible was a giant volcanic system of the Taupo…

Big basalt blasts II. Taal

In my last post I introduced the model for a new eruption mechanism/style. I will be referring to these events as big basalt blasts, this is just the silly preliminary name, not its definitive one I hope. So how did it work? I will briefly summarize. First a magma reservoir drains through a lateral eruption…

Big basalt blasts I. The trigger

Rhyolite has more silica, this makes it more viscous, more explosive and in turn more dangerous. Basalt is the opposite, fluid, well-behaved, safe. This could be a phrase out of any geology textbook, I can almost feel some readers getting ahead of me and thinking what I am obliged to say. But there are exceptions!…

The Science behind ”Mars 2067, the Olympus Mons Expedition”

Science should be “sexy”. Once we had decided to write an article on Olympus Mons, we began to consider how to present it in a manner that would appeal to our readers. The regular science article is usually a rather monotonous enumeration of facts, figures and equations and thus heavy to digest for the average…

Mars 2067, the Olympus Mons Expedition (Part II)

This far, the expedition had been a highly successful failure. Five weeks into the exploration with three weeks of intense survey had brought a wealth of data, but not what they had come for. Olympus Mons or Nix Olympica, the Olympic Snows as it was formerly known, had stubbornly refused to accede to human wishes.…