Kilauea II: Roots of the Hawaiian Islands

In my previous article, here, I discussed how Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes are connected to each other through the Pahala Swarm. Now I have to deal with a confrontation of theories that is inevitable. There is a classical model of how Hawaii works. It is all about the mantle plume. The classical view establishes…

Kilauea I: Magma waves from the phantom rift

Each volcano is an expression of a magma architectural construction, a great sculpture of chambers, pipes and sills, as intricate as an ant colony, or rather like the roots of a plant. This is all hidden away from our view, under kilometres or tens of kilometres of rock that makes it impossible for us to…

The piggyback volcano

The expression became famous because of Isaac Newton. Never one to ignore praise, in typical English fashion he expressed his self-assured superiority in a self-effacing way: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants“. This was written in a letter to Robert Hooke, himself both an intellectual giant and…

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!…

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,…