Kilauea eruption – lavabergs, fountains and drainbacks

Kilauea is back erupting since December 20! The eruption style is typical of Kilauea, yet it’s been decades since it last showed it and many aspects have not been explained properly. The most important unanswered question being the difference between a rootless lava lake (this eruption) and a “true” lava lake. The eruption came as…

The Kilauea 2020 eruption – reading tea leaves

This is a strange end to a strange year. Kilauea erupting without even HVO noticing it until the lava was flowing, Etna exploding into life, and even New Zealand trying to get in on the action. And we were complaining that nothing was happening and we had to live off the glories of Christmas past…

The Kilauea 2020 eruption

As we speak, an eruption has started within Kilaueau. HVO reported: “Shortly after approximately 9:30 p.m. HST (7:30 am GMT, 2 hours ago) , the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected glow within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. An eruption has commenced within Kīlauea’s summit caldera. The situation is rapidly evolving and…

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 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!…

Lava Lakes – The Great Equilibrium Machine

A while ago Jesper Sandberg asked a question about if Grimsvötn could sprout forth a lava lake. I somewhat sloppily answered that I did not think that it was possible. Jesper then asked why not, and I got somewhat flustered since I did not have a ready answer. I promised to come back with a…

A Green Hawaiian Interlude

A little article while we happily wait for the USGS to confirm that Kilauea is about to sprout a green caldera lake, or not. I normally do not write a lot about Kilauea, the reason for this is that it rarely does anything interesting. But, in 2018 it did quite a lot of interesting things,…

A Christmas eruption

Kilauea has become a different volcano. For 30 years, the summit was a passive participant in the seemingly ever-lasting Pu’u’O’o eruption. But nothing volcanic lasts forever, and 2018 was the year that proved this. A blockage near (or in) Pu’u’O’o caused the pressure in the rift to increase, the east rift gave way, and magma…

Eruptions to come

Let’s start with a question. Which country do you think has the most frequent volcanic eruptions? Before you read on (or peek below for the answer), take a minute to think about it. You can probably guess that Australia is not a front runner. In fact, only two or three countries readily come to mind.…

Hell and its angels at Kilauea

There has been a lot of discussion on what will happen next at Kilauea. For 30 years it overflowed through Pu’u’O’o, leaving the summit safely under-pressured. That had been changing slowly as Pu’u’O’o declined, and the summit had become restless. A lava lake made its appearance and slowly enlarged itself. But this mode, with pressure…