The Hunga Tonga eruption of 2022

Volcanoes can be quite predictable, in a general sort of way. We know that Grimsvotn will erupt – just not when, although it is fairly likely to be within the next two years. Similarly, Mount Rainier will erupt some day, although this could be centuries or millennia off. Six years ago, we predicted that Mauna…

The 2023 Kilauea eruption

After a runup of 4 months, or 10 hours, or 1.5 hours (depending on how you look at it), Kilauea sprung back to life, in its continuing quest to recreate the summit-wide lava lake of a century ago. There is still some way to go, but comparing this morning’s glowing lake to the Halemaumau lava…

Vesuvius in retrospect

A few days ago, in the VC back-channel, I made mention of something I had seen on a SciChan program. That October is the anniversary of the 79AD eruption. Albert then chimed in with a link to a BBC article detailing the same. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45874858 Okay, that’s the second thing about October that is interesting. 25…

The Fagradalfjall eruption series II – day 2

The end of the Australian TV series Neighbours (which I to my embarrassment never watched) has created room for new home entertainment series. Iceland has stepped into the breech, and has created a serial volcanic eruption. We are now on series II of the Fagradalsfjall fires, just in time for the empty summer holiday schedule.…

Fagradalsfjall eruption 2

After several days of heavy shaking, the new eruption started today. We know very little and are mainly enjoying the view. That there was an eruption is not a surprise, the location perhaps was. The earthquakes showed an intrusion in the general area of Fagradalsfjall. They were located a little east of last year’s dike,…

Askja for Beginners

I love large caldera volcanoes. The first reason is that they are always very beautiful, especially if they have lakes in them. The second reason is that most of them are of a class of volcanoes that leave their pointier cousins far behind. Size matters after all. At one end of the beauty spectrum, you…

Icelandic Chicken Race

Geological time is interesting, because even the geological now is decades long, if not centuries. The current geological episode at Reykjanes didn’t start with Fagrafjall (it is no longer a valley, so let us drop the “dal” out of Fagradalsfjall shall we). Nor did it start with the large and very noisy intrusion over at…

Islands in the stream

In the last few weeks, I have been unusually busy with things decidedly non-volcanic as the world turned quite a bit darker. Regardless I noticed that there were quite a few things going on in the volcanic part of the news, but that did not for natural reasons end up as big news items. One…

Hunga Tonga and The Supercriticality Event

As the numbers for the Hunga Tonga eruption continues to come in it is becoming ever clearer that something truly momentous happened, something not seen or heard in 139 years. With a columnar height of 55 kilometres, an explosive pressure wave travelling several laps around the planet, forming a medium sized deadly tsunami, gouging out…

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…