The VC Bar

Welcome to the Volcano Café bar, a place for all things on or off topic and inane ramblings. There has been a need of late to find a place better suited to various theories, long comments and enthusiasm. This page will be less moderated than the main article pages and cleared out every month (this may change depending on use).

Have fun and don’t forget to tip the barman 😉

3,258 thoughts on “The VC Bar

  1. SpaceX launch and blow up apparently invisible prototype SN11 as it attempts to land, It either blew up in the air during engine re-ignition or Flight Termination System was activated.

    • Is this where we post non-volcano stuff of interest? I did post a comment at the time, we were watching it live.

  2. Is there any asteorids in the solar system that orbits the sun close enough so they are molten or have a surface thats melts into glass during close solar orbits?

    Souch objects woud over millions of years be vaporized by the suns intense light bombardment ..

    The outer parts of the Sun have a very low density ( 1/ 100 th of earths surface pressure for middle photosphere )
    And corona is much less.

    Light Radiation is what heats you up If you go close to the sun

  3. Sakurajima seems to be gradually getting more violent as time goes on.
    Can see another 1914 at some point.
    Another city built in a silly place.

    • Its a silly place but not the silliest place, when Kagoshima was built I think it was probably not so bad a location just now it is much bigger and Sakurajima is erupting all the time, it didnt do that before the 1950s I dont think. Japan is one of those places that is extremely aware of the situation but rather helpless to actually do anything about it now, its impossible to move Tokyo no matter how extreme the earthquake risk is, so building to minimise the damage is the next best thing.

      Castles in Japan were built out of wood and had a base of stones that were shaped but not set together, exactly so that earthquakes wouldnt destroy them, houses were also built out of wood that was held together by gravity, and also put of paper and cloth.

      • One snag is that many roofs, made of heavy tiles to endure typhoons, became deadly missiles during quakes…

    • Great photos of that event in my 70+ yo edition of Thomas Jaggar’s ‘Volcanoes Declare War’. Formerly an island, tt was that event in which its pyroclastic density currents linked it to the mainland.

  4. Large number of earthquakes currently ongoing in Nisyros area. Always been intrigued by the Kos/Nisyros/Tilos area at the eastern end of the Aegean arc, a large batholith underlies this area. The Kos ignimbrite was also an enormous eruption 150ka, almost a VEI7. Fumaroles, geothermal activity and bradyseism are common on Nisyros island. Would be a good subject for a future article!

    • Please. Is a very complex, very interesting region, its geology due for a ‘kick’ when the currently-locked Western end of ‘North Anatolian Fault’ breaks loose…

      FWIW, any word on the stress-field vs creep rates around Istanbul ?? IIRC, there were *some* indications that *part* of submerged section of fault *may* be somewhat lubricated by water, so is creeping rather than fully locked. Would act as a ‘safety link’ to prevent quake propagation along full length at risk. So, in theory, a much shorter duration main-event, albeit with umpteen nasty after-shocks as remaining stresses release…

      Having glimpsed what was left of Old Skopje after a year’s clean-up, I can only plead, ‘Be NOT There’…

      Be a cruel irony if Erdogan gets his beloved ‘Kanal Istanbul’ dug just in time for big quake to collapse the surrounding slopes into it, totally land-locking a big Russian warship…

  5. Is Hawaii the worlds clearest ocean?
    Hawaii is so far from land and land runoff and isolated in the tropical deep sea pacific. Hawaiian waters are extremely low in nutrients its a ”watery desert”
    Visibility in Hawaii is often excellent amazing! 70 meters or more are possible.
    Its sea is a deep indigo Blue in Google Earth .. Almost nothing can grow in souch waters. North Pacific Gyre contains very few plankton and almost No nutrients.

    Coral Reefs make their own nutrients from sunlight and is one of very few animal life that can grow in souch clear Blue oceanic deserts.

    Perhaps Chad knows If there are any even clearer spots in the pacific?

    I also know that Sargasso – sea haves Some super clear blue oceanic desert spots .. thats devoid of plankton

    Its the Subtropical Oceanic Gyres at around lat 18 to 33 that contains the worlds clearest .. bluest and least fertile waters .. But exactly where the worlds clearest ocean water? is .. I dont know

    • I swimmed many times in Kailua Kona .. offshore from boat a mile out .. 75 meters visibilty is not uncommon there .. lack of plankton growth in water

      Perhaps this is as Clear as a tropical deep sea ocean can be?

      Satelite imagery plankton in Hawaii is very very low concentrations

    • Molokini Crater haves some very Clear water indeed! But I think offshore kona coud be clearer

    • Sargasso Sea is also known to be one of the worlds clearest oceans

      But exactly Whats the worlds clearest ocean I dont know

    • Hawaii Tracker is a wonderful resource that just keeps on giving. Philip Ong and Dane Dupont are great with the Kilauea and Mauna Loa updates. I’ve learnt so much small-scale lava lake morphology from these guys.

  6. Spotted in the Financial Times: some good advice to take the effort out of cooking. No lava required

    • In lockdown Dear Daughter and I made a sourdough starter from scratch and made bread, crumpets, scones, banana bread out of the dough. I need to do more sourdough bread. It’s so tasty.

  7. I have no idea what’s happening over the IGEPN but they have not posted any monthly reports since August, never reported on the volcano’s most recent swarm at the end of last year, and I have actually asked for GPS and INSAR deformation data in a conversation with the scientist over there and they won’t respond to anymore my messages since then.There as been anomalous deformation since November of last year. Significant change to the inclinometers imply an expanded area of localized uplift or large tectonic instability
    . I can’t rationalize this. Even from a conspiracy perspective, wouldn’t be more logical to give some type of explanation for the lack of reports, fake some data, and/or just not report the disturbing data? They could just talk about the seismic data which certainly doesn’t point to anything crazy happening. Does any one have any ideas?

  8. Imagining What a Metal Volcano Would Look Like

    nice article with lots of pics, video etc.
    In 2018, designs for NASA’s Psyche mission to explore the metal asteroid of the same name were being finalized, awaiting approval to be built in a facility in California. Meanwhile, across the country, Arianna Soldati was conducting large-scale experiments that involved melting metal-rich basaltic rocks in a furnace, pouring the lava out, and studying how it flowed.

    “During our last pour of the day, I saw this metal come out and I made the connection,” said Soldati, a volcanologist at North Carolina State University at Raleigh. Asteroid Psyche, thought to be a shard of a failed planet’s metallic core, was likely partially molten at one point.

    Soldati and her colleagues tested a ferrovolcanism scenario involving both silicate rock and metal. Using one of the furnaces at the Lava Project at Syracuse University in New York, the team melted metal-rich basaltic rock in a silicon carbide crucible. Under heat, the crucible degraded and released carbon which combined with oxygen to form carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide then chemically reacted with the basaltic melt and separated it into a silicate melt and a denser metallic melt. When the crucible was poured out, the silicate melt flowed first, and the metallic one followed (see video below).

    They found that the metallic flow was about 3 times denser and about 100 times less viscous and traveled about 10 times faster than the silicate flow at the same temperature—all in line with fluid dynamics theories. “But it was surprising how independent the two flows remained,” Soldati said. “The silicate flow started earlier, and then the metallic one followed, but it went underneath the rock flow and did its own thing. There was not a lot of interaction between the two. They remained fairly sharply separated.”

    • I did always want to know what lava metal would look like. That is, a metal alloy that is basically all the elements in basalt except the oxygen. Would be probably some sort of silicon-iron-magnesium alloy mostly with small amounts of other stuff, which means it is probably very brittle and also likely very flammable… 🙂

  9. This morning I decided to go awol and spent the time indulging in reaction videos to some of my favourite songs. What a rollercoaster ride of bliss. I must do this more often, it’s so life-enhancng and uplifting.
    A selection:-
    In Your Eyes
    In the Air Tonight
    Solsbury Hill
    Pina Colada (Yes! Really!)
    I’m not in love
    Annie Are You OK (Alien Ant Farm)
    One Burbon, one Scotch one Beer
    Ballroom Blitz

      • Thanks
        A motorised mount to track the night sky, and different photo lenses and telescopes attached to a Canon dslr. Trick is to make long exposures and stacking them with software. 🙂

  10. Chad,
    it seems logical to me that it was a combination. The Deccan traps together with the impact certainly had the consequence that there was no sunlight for many years.
    Concerning the impact there is this beautiful site, in New Mexico I think, of Robert de Palma, all in one neat place. So, the first consequence must have been a monster tsunami, also in those small subareal regions of Europe being much closer to the Americas then. Only 18% of all land was subareal. Then there was the Tethys ocean between North- and South America. Tsunami in South America as well, and if it was huge like 1000 m it had an effect everywhere on the globe.
    Now the oceans. Why did the ancestor of our sharks survive? Maybe dinosaurs only swam and hunted in shallow seas whereas the shark is everywhere. Then I imagine else: Radiation. Radiation would mean that most species were sterilized, and that the offspring died in their eggshells. like that.
    Concerning PT, I read an interesting idea in Dorrik Stow’s book. He writes that the coastline was must shorter, naturally after the completion of Pangaea, and besides that the sea level was extremely low exposing the continental shelves which would mean that everything on the continental shelves dried out. Plus the Siberian traps. Plus close to no rain near the Pangaean mountain range.
    So I wonder what will happen before the sun gets too hot, when the Australian plate will have collided with Asia, and when there is a new sort of Neo-Pangaean mountain range from the Pyrenees to the East of Asia. That would be in about 50 million years. America and Eurasia would be connected in the North, the Pacific a bit smaller, the Atlantic Ocean larger.
    Yeah, write about it maybe. You might get too much traffic though, I don’t know whether you want that. You’d get sensation seekers, dino-tourists, idiots who goggle the T-Rex, avoid the word, also the word Mososaurus. People love dinosaurs. Paleontologists are not too amused about it, as most of the time they are busy with teeth, also rodents’ teeth, sort of work without a spotlight. So if you write avoid every single creature from the Jurassic movies.
    They had that birds also have: Air chambers in their bones. Some had feathers it seems. I bet the air chambers burst, together with the lungs. The small mammals under the earth, the shark in the depth of the oceans, some snakes and some birds far enough from the impact survived. But the fossils must be from huge tsunamis and instant death, as bodies being buried in mud with the right temperature afterwards result in fossilisation.
    One day they might find the two persons (or parts of them) missing near St. Helens. Fossilized.
    Have a nice Sunday.

    • In about 600 million years the sun will acually be 6% brigther than it is today
      And in 1 billion years 10% brigther

      The entire Earths landmasses turns into a wast seriers of sand dunes.. with life only found in the oceans once again. Daily global temperatures of almost 50 C.. the hot conditions will weather away most of the CO2 and killing the plant life .. and then most of the animal life

      In about 1,5 billion years Earth becomes a hot humid steamhouse runaway greenhouse.. as more and more water evaporates and ends up in the atmosphere trapping heat

      . With all oceans in the atmosphere as steam and magnetic field still active .. Earths surface temperatures coud soar into 1300 C with souch greenhouse

      As the sun gets even older and brigther .. it may even vaporize our planet.. at Red Giant helium flash phase it will be many many 1000 s of times brigther than today! .. heating the Earth enough to make it boil away like a comet .. possible only Leaving a tiny core if Earths orbit widens as the dying sun loose mass

      The far future is very sunny indeed : )

    • 600 million years in the future Earth is Probaly still habitable.. But a hotter sun means more weathering.. than the volcanoes can resupply it and CO2 levels will be dangerously low for life.. killing off most plant life and animals that depend on oxygen. Transforming the landmasses into wast creepy silent deserts Thats as empty as space in larger organisms.

      Death Valley is a good analouge of Earths far future enviroments under an older and brigther sun .. with only anarobic microbes being the things that live.

      Last organisms will shelter kilometers undeground until about 2 billion years from now .. when Earth becomes Venus 3.0

      • Closer in time, Jesper: “Severe climate made central Pangaea uninhabitable”, link. The question is less whether man can survive this, but more, whether he wants to live like that. Man can always get to the conclusion, not to procreate and even commit suicide. In 50 to 100 million years there might be a new Pangaea. You can see it develop, it’s easy. I think it might wander North though, that might help.

        I just hate Pangaea and prefer to read things that start at the end of Trias when rifting must have started, when water came in, when the vegetation changed to the better.
        I love to read about the Western Interior Seaway in the Cretacious, 70 Mya, the Sevier Orogenic Belt, the Mogollon Highlands, the Great Valley Franciscan Complex with a shallow sea and islands, Wrangellia docked on there somewhere, on the other side of the mountains a wide ocean. First mammals, first birds (Wonder Chicken). And I just hate Pangaea, instinctively. We won’t be here anymore, or we won’t like it too much. It was the monster-continent which brought the reptiles. Only reptiles could live there. Most large deserts seem to be a rest of it. Habitable, yes. For reptiles and insects. The next Supercontinent is a lot closer in time, and it will be hotter because of that sun gteting more intense.

        • Pangaia makes one sense though. The mantle hated it as well, it suffocated. So, it created all those beautiful plumes. One of them might be active in Reykjanes right now, if Carl is right after all. Those beautiful plumes might have been responsable for the rifting, and on the bottom of the oceans near the black smokers is life. So, Pangaea has a point, after all, and without Pangaea, Carl would have to think about a plume genesis in Iceland.

          • Carl would not have to think of course.
            Enjoy your Bank Holiday, The British here.

  11. I wonder when Saõ Miguel will erupt again ..
    Ponta Del Gada is certainly in risk zone.
    The Portugal colonizers built the city on a monogenetic scoria cone field, so this is at least a possibilty in the far future. A new monogenetic fissure event woud be a terrfying destruction for this city. But Catania, Goma and Neapels are in much more concern with larger populations. Still you can count 300 mafic alkaline monogentic scoria cones on the Island.

    Saõ Miguel Certainly haves a sluggish magma supply and sometimes results in explosive evolved alkaline melts at the Big calderas.
    The biggest holocene eruption there was a 3km3 Phonolitic plinian event from the fogo volcanic complex. The Phonolite shows How sluggish the supply is.

  12. Red Giant Sun .. will be a very low density feature indeed!! but big enough to be opaque.. it will be an enormous orange yellow white object the the sky .. perhaps with No sharp edge at all If you watched it from the outer solar system .. just a huge yellowish red glow haze.
    Red giants often haves giant granules cells convection because of low density and low surface gravity

    The poor dying Earth will travel inside this low density plasma .. convective heating will be minimal.

    But its the radiation heating Thats another thing 5000 times brigther the sun will be than today .. Venus and Mercury Will burn up like giant comets and merge with the plasma

    I dont know If Earth will surivive whats Chads opinion? will Earth boil away? The radiation heating is What will determine that ..

    Some say that Suns grip on Earth will loosen and its orbit will move outward as sun loose mass and it will escape Incenirating

    • Probably ask Albert but most stuff I read says the Earth will be too close to the sun for it to survive the red giant stage. The sun will be a red giant for a long time, a billion years maybe, the earth will be orbiting maybe only just outside its visible surface, maybe its core will survive but the mantle will be ablated away for sure.

      Probably the best comparison to the red giant Sun is Arcturus, its the same mass as the Sun but a few billion years older. Arcturus has no planets though, at least none we know about. Aldebaran is slightly more massive than the Sun and does have a planet. Aldebaran b actually was in the outer habitable zone when the star was in the main sequence, so if it had any large moons they could have been habitable.

      • Some form of life will survive, there are creatures that are extremely adaptable, tardigrades and so forth. The sun’s expansion may actually make some of the other planets in our system ‘more habitable’, for instance, Jupiter’s moons.

        • Life isnt going to survive on the earth is what I meant.

          Red giants are also extremely luminous, the habitable zone will be in the Kuiper belt, even Neptune will be too warm. Theres nothing in the Kuiper belt that can hold onto a thick atmosphere except maybe Pluto and thats a big maybe, so probably all but the small percentage of rocky stuff will evaporate. There could be more substantial planet sized objects we haven’t seen yet in the Oort cloud, in fact it is way more likely they are there than not, but those will be a bit further out and not really the same question.

          • Well it depends how substantial the warming effect and radiation is, everything between Jupiter and Pluto is between -200C & -400C, many of the moons (Charon for instance) are also quite unstable in their orbits and eccentricity.
            There are several large Kuiper Belt bodies that might house life, Eris, Makemake etc. and there is of course the mysterious potential planet (or planets) X that affects the orbits of these far out bodies.

          • It’s possible, there is also the theory that the sun is a binary star (Nemesis) and it’s twin could have caused the perturbances in the Kuiper belt. If Scholz’s star did had a significant effect, then we will see asteroids reaching the inner solar system in roughly 2 million years.

            I went down a wiki rabbit hole with this and found that there is a roughly 27 million year periodicity in mass extinctions, so what causes that who can say.

          • Nemesis would have been seen by now, we found Proxima Centauri a long time ago and that is a very dim star. We have also found so many brown dwarfs that to have one in the solar system without us knowing is basically 0, they are not as dim in infrared as they are in visible, imagine Jupiter heated to 1500 C it would glow bright. Most cases of the Nemesis or Nibiru theory are brought up as science fiction or by people like that Dutchsince guy only less grounded in reality than he is, somehow..

            Mass extinctions are more like once every 100 million years not 25 million and are certainly not cyclical, you get two in a 50 million year span on either end of the Triassic but there has only been one in the 200 million years since that, though it was a big one. There are minor extinctions more often but that tends to affect only megafauna and is probably quite often biological in origin just from natural evolution, mass extinctions hit everything and are beyond the ability if complex life, until we showed up.

      • Chad just wait until the large Red Dwarf Gliese 710 C pass through the solar system.. 4000 Au or perhaps even closer.. insanely close
        Going to disturb the Ort Cloud.. and send bombardement towards the inner planets

        Gliese 710 C makes it passage in around 1 million years

  13. To keep myself mostly-sane, I write SciFi and urban-fantasy tales, keeping as close to reality as I can manage…

    Sometimes, a ‘throw-away’ line comes back to bug me.

    In my WIRS tales, we’re one of seven ‘parallels’, thus accounting for the missing ‘Dark Matter’. And Hancock was only half-wrong, ‘Atlanteans’ being a human culture whose Eifel region’s over-fracked geothermal tap went ‘Chernobyl’. Some survivors hunkered down, slowly degenerated. Some clung to their storm-washed alt-Atlantic coast. Some fled, cut a swathe across our Bronze Age, spawned myth & legend with their portable Alt-Tech until it wore out…

    ( Thera / Santorini ? Did they make the same mistake again ?? )

    Meanwhile, their Eifel region continues to erupt flood basalts. Beyond the growing ‘Traps’, sub-continent is ‘Icelandic Barrens’ from their alt-Atlantic coast to Urals. Planet is ‘mild’ Ice Age, sea-level’s about sixty metres below ours. Not quite enough to close ‘Gibraltar’, but impairs exchange. Ditto Black Sea & Red Sea etc…

    Now, a ‘usually reliable’ character says Atlantean Alps stopped the lava from going further South…

    Given three millennia of eruption, would that still apply ? Could lava have found way to eg Rhone Valley ?

    So, more correct to say, ‘…stopped *much* lava from going further South’ ? With a lonnnng lava-tube spilling down into alt-Med ??

  14. So, after learning about the rather unusual process of water dehydration from a stagnant subducted slap that appears to power the intraplate volcano Mt.Paektu/Changbaishan I’ve been immensely curious if there are other locations on the globe with intraplate volcanoes that don’t really fit into the typical models that may fit this behaviour.

    Does anybody know of any locations on earth with the same sort of subduction-type where this kind of process may be ongoing?

    • Perhaps the Tibesti Massif in NW Chad ?

      Due to a totally subducted mini-plate from Tethys’ closure ??

      • Interesting but with the state of the region that’d be quite the challenge to actually research and verify. There aren’t even seismometers out there right?

      • All of East Australia actually, there was probably a plume involved through the Cenozoic but that only explains the big volcanoes, like Wollumbin or Canobolas, it doesnt explain the many volcanic fields which have not shown any age correlation or waning of activity, with extensive volcanism in the last million years at both ends of the continent.

        • It’s an interesting possibility. Volcanic fields seem to be how things originally started in the North China/Korea area afterall so certainly a potential candidate.

          • Yes, but it is inactive, the last central volcano was at Hanging rock in Victoria and that was 6 million years ago. The hotspot seems to have peaked at Wollumbin, a bit over 20 million years ago, that is a massive volcano. The volcanic fields seem to not have anything to do with the hotspot.

            I live in this part of the world so naturally this stuff interests me 🙂

    • Probably Mt Elbrus and those in Romania like Ciomadul.
      Taken from Ciomadul wikipedia:

      This volcanism occurs in a setting where the collision between the Eurasian Plate and the Tisza-Dacia microplate took place,[13][14] preceded by a stage of subduction involving a narrow ocean.[15] This is part of the collision between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate; subduction may still be underway in the area of the Carpathians.[16] The Vrancea zone, which is 50 kilometres (31 mi) away from Ciomadul, features ongoing earthquake activity; deep earthquakes suggest that a remnant of a slab exists beneath the Vrancea zone.

      • I had a feeling it could be involved in the Carpathians, it’s the only real explanation for Ciomadul/Csomad that makes sense to me.

    • IIRC, I also asked this some time back, as it was a ‘diverting’ phenomenon. Exudate seems cold, not geo-thermal, isotopic mix seems due to organic decay. Mud pot per Baku or Indonesia ?? But why does it move ??

      IIRC, what’s now ‘Salton Sea’ was isolated from coast by an alluvial fan during last ice age when sea levels were much lower. If another ‘pull apart’ basin, then sediment depth could be considerable, and we’re just seeing the tip of backfill….

      And the pot is following the stress-field of a transverse fault ??

      I suppose one concern is for the utilities & rail-tracks across its path, another is that area could subside…

    • The most likely cause of the move is actually the road. It may have stopped the natural dispersion of the underground gas. Gas can’t get out much that way, so it collects and the increase of gas makes the mud pool follow it. Note that the geyser was rather close to the road. Best way to get the mud to go back where it was is to remove the road!

  15. I knew the Galileo entry probe was extreme but I didnt realise just how much…

    “The probe slammed into Jupiter’s atmosphere at 170,590 kilometers per hour, fast enough to jet from Los Angeles to New York in 90 seconds. Deceleration to about Mach 1—​the speed of sound—took just a few minutes. At maximum deceleration it experienced a force 350 times Earth’s gravity. The incandescent shock wave ahead of the probe was as bright as the Sun and reached searing temperatures of up to 15,537 degrees Celsius.”

    It makes you wonder how hot something entering the atmosphere of the sun would be, I know the sun is extreme in its own right but I expect something that is falling into it would heat up to such a degree that the photosphere temperature would be basically 0 K in comparison… I wonder actually would a comet hitting the sun have enough kinetic energy to initiate fusion at the site of impact? Same for massive gas giants hitting each other, would it induce fusion during the impact, temporarily, even if the combined mass stays below the limit of becoming a star.

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