Friday Flotsam: All quiet in North Korea, what to watch for at Katla and the Kilauea lava lake
Quick hits to wrap up the week:
Looking into a skylight at Kilauea. Image taken July 8, 2010, courtesy of HVO/USGS.
- Following up some news about Changbaishan/Changbai caldera in North Korea, Yang Qingfu, director of earthquake and volcano analysis and forecast center with the seismology bureau of northeast China's Jilin Province, says that the volcano appears to be quiet and that there are no signs of an impending eruption - at least not in the next dozen years. The bigger news (in my mind) is that China will be installing full monitoring (gravity, deformation, electromagnetics, fluid monitor and seismic) to watch the caldera that last erupted in 1903.
- I've been getting a number of emails and tweets about seismicity around our friend Katla over the last 24 hours. Again, I am no expert on seismicity at Katla, but most of of the current earthquakes are very shallow (1 km or less), small (most < M1) and really, only 14 in the past day. If you're looking for a signal of a reawakening Katla, we should expect increasing magnitudes, earthquakes starting at depth (10s of km) and working their way upwards, tens if not hundreds of earthquakes a day and volcanic tremors, all of which are missing right now. However, never hurts to keep an eye on Eyjafjallajökull bigger sibling.
- In the "File Under Lets-Worry-About-It-Now" folder, many people are suddenly jumping at the chance to buy volcano-specific travel insurance after the massive flight disruptions caused by Eyjafjallajökull. Now, I am not one to criticize proper planning, but I also find it interesting that a threat that was always there suddenly seems like a "new" thing. I mean, most people don't buy travel insurance for flights during hurricane season ... but maybe I am wrong. However, the insurance companies must be happy (for now).
- There are also especially nice views of the lava lake in the Haleuma`uma`u Crater at Kilauea from the HVO webcam. Apparently the lava lake has been surprisingly steady over the summer so far - but we'll see how long that lasts.