What Would Make a VSI 12?

Guest post by Tallis My father and I disagree on a lot of things from religion, politics, career, and more; One of the things we disagree on is the title of worst geological disaster. I believe that title goes to volcanoes while my father believes it goes to earthquakes. This is actually a fun point…

The VEI-5 millennium eruption of Hunga Tonga

It seemed to come out of nowhere. In the midst of a quiet interlude, after the hugely damaging La Palma had ended, when the hugely touristic eruption at Fagradalsfjall failed to re-appear, and the hugely underwatched eruption at Kilauea continued to be underwatched, whilst we were waiting for Reykjanes (which some had predicted to recur…

The Terraces of Tarawera

It was a quintessential English village, with simple houses along streets and fenced cottage gardens of precisely 100 m2 each. This is what the heart of England, the Cotswolds, looked like. Perhaps 85% of the population was local; the others were distant immigrants. The people were farmers and workers in the local flour mill. But…

Future calderas

Volcanoes erupt all the time. It may seem a quiet time to us but that is because most eruptions are small and low impact, and stay below the radar. An excellent daily overview can be found on http://lechaudrondevulcain.com/blog-spotlight-two-column/ As I write this, it lists on-going eruptions at Sinabung, Etna, Stromboli, and Sabancaya. Volcanodiscovery also lists…

Okmok versus the Roman republic

Okmok is a known hazard. The volcano occupies its own half of Umnak, an isolated part of the Aleutian islands. Okmok is possibly the most active of the 40-odd Aleutian volcanoes. Over the past 8600 years it has produced over 50 ash layers from separate explosions, and minor eruptions happen every other decade. AVO has…

Mercurious

It is a strange one. Metals are shiny, and this one certainly is, in a dark-grey, silvery way. It is so shiny that it can even be used as a telescope mirror. Metals tend to be hard, but this one certainly is not. It isn’t even a solid. Mercury is one of only two elements…

Power of the past: 25 super eruptions – continued

The VC list of 25 super eruptions – continued In our quest for major eruptions, we are continuing our journey around the world, moving north from Indonesia. Kyushu, Japan Japan’s southernmost main island is volcanically highly active. Past explosions have left large calderas, separated into two groups. In the centre of Kyushu is Aso, and…

Power of the past: a compilation of 25 super eruptions

The battle of Stalingrad was among the bloodiest and most horrific of the second world war. During the cold winter of December 1942, the Commissar of Stalingrad organised open-air party meetings for local artists and musicians to encourage the exhausted and hungry soldiers. One of those musicians was the violinist Mikhail Goldstein. On New Year’s…

Prelude to Krakatau. III

In Part 1 and Part II we went over the current state of Krakatau and its history over the 300 years before the Big One. Now it is time to find out what caused the Big Bang, whether it is a recurrent offence, and to try our hand at the big question: why is such…