Volcanoes of the North: the fire in the ice

A freezer provides storage. And a deep freezer gives deep storage. You can’t go deeper than an original ice-age glacier. In Greenland, those glaciers are still there, being so tall that the top has remained in deep freeze even though the ice age is a distant memory. In this cryogenic environment, that frozen memory is…

Volcano on the rocks

People need mementoes. They are small things (normally) with little intrinsic value (often), but which carries a memory which is far more valuable to the owner than the item is in itself. It can be a bit of jewelry, a cup, or a chair, or even a pebble. Or it can be one of many…

Vanished Vikings of the West: Demise of the Western Settlement

In Part I, we looked at the Viking colonization of Greenland, and the failure of their settlement in America. In Part II we saw the fall of the Eastern Settlement. Now we will look at an even more mysterious disappearance, that of the Western Settlement. Of the two Viking settlements, the Western Settlement was both…

Vanished Vikings of the West: the Eastern Settlement

In part I, we have discussed how the Greenland Vikings lived. After the initial settlement around 1000 AD, there was a century of expansion as they made their homes and explored – and used – the North American coast. Walrus ivory brought them a valuable export product. But Greenland was always marginal for their way…

Vanished Vikings of the West: the fall of Greenland

Colonization is recreation. It features on board and computer games, from Simcity to Civilization, and from Settlers of Catan to Musk at Mars (ok, that one is apparently not a game). The games invite us to imagine a fresh start in a place where the past does not matter and where everything is a new…

Rockall: The lost continent of Middle Earth

Mid-oceanic rifts should be in the middle of the ocean they formed. And often they are, but there are exceptions. The Reykjanes Rift, south of Iceland, is one of these. It is well known for its connection to Iceland, and events there are often discussed in this blog. Reykjanes has separated Greenland from Scotland, and…

Millennium Volcanoes

As we labour to rescue what can be saved, we shall continue from where we last were. Here again is that fabulous post by Albert, alas, without the original reader comments: Volcanic eruptions have become major attractions, and even rather minor eruptions can make front page news. In modern days, any volcano deciding to erupt…