Chile-Cerro Negro: Is this the one?

There are so many volcanoes right now that have the size and history to produce a massive eruption but only one volcano has me worried for the imminent future and you’ve heard it’s name before, Chiles-Cerro Negro. As of late Chile-Cerro Negro has been having a massive swarm with accelerating deformation which has caught some…

Health and Volcanoes

We are happy to continue our tradition of April-1 stories that are almost true. Some of the science is correct – although we do NOT recommend sulphur-sniffing! April-1 should be a time of happiness. If you would like to re-read our previous ‘almost true’ stories The Sicilian affair Iceland eruption postponement Lava lake to provide…

Piton de la Fournaise, or Putin’s furnace

The Indian ocean can be a paradise. It has tropical beaches, smiling people, and blue ocean. But a paradise does not come out of nowhere; these tropical island paradises form in violence. Peace only comes after turmoil, when the forces of destruction finally give up, having created where they sought to destroy. Every tropical island…

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 Making of La Palma

After Iceland, there was La Palma. It could have been the Azores, of course. There are more than just two volcanic archipelagos and islands in our youngest ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. But it was La Palma. Could we have seen it coming? Eruptions at La Palma are about ten times less frequent than at Iceland,…

Askja, 1875

Background Askja is a lesser known major Icelandic volcano. The north volcanic zone (NVZ) where it is located is not as touristy as the east (Bardarbunga, Grimsvotn), the south (Katla) or the southwest (Fagradalsfjall) volcanic zones of Iceland, but it should not be ignored. The Krafla rift eruption here lasted (intermittently) for nine years, from…

The changing faces of Fagradalsfjall: fizz, bubbles and slugs

We have had quite a ride. The eruption began unseen, on March 19. The new fissure opened on April 5, after the initial double cone had begun to wane. The new fissures sprouted a series of cones, mostly twinned. By May, all twins had exterminated one of the siblings, and the survivors had battled for…

The Sicilian Affair

This of course was our April 1 story, bringing volcanoes up-to-date with the modern world of ‘alternative facts’. We hope you enjoyed it and that it brought a smile to your face. Any resemblance to any person anywhere in the world is purely intentional. Tune in next year when we will be revealing the volcano…

Fukushima in two volcanoes

Today is the 10 year anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake. The M9 off the coast at Sendai, Japan, was impressive enough by itself, but the main impact came from the huge tsunami that followed. I remember it well. My lecture the previous day had been on the physics of tidal waves and tsunamis. I had…