(Late) Wednesday Whatzits: Hawaiian lava flows, more Katla mongering and a possible eruption at Ruiz?
Kilauea lavas on the move near Kalapana. Image taken July 17, courtesy of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Some news over the last few days:
- The lava flows from Kilauea are moving with a vengeance right now, damaging roads and heading for some structures. The lava flows near Kalapana have moved almost 200 meters since Sunday, closing within 100 yards of homes in the area. The lava is moving to the east along Highway 130 and 137 - and tourists are making it difficult to get around as they park to watch the lava - upwards of 2,000 people! A number of people (and dogs) have had to be evacuated as the lava slowly flows into Kalapana - last inundated with lava 21 years ago. It is a busy summer for the Hawaiian volcano, thats for sure.
- I would also like to derail some of this continued Katla-mongering, this time over at Cosmic Variance. This is not to say we shouldn't watch Katla, but all these swarms are still (1) too small; (2) too shallow and; (3) too short. I would place a safe bet that there are many more volcanoes worldwide that are much closer to eruption than Katla - and the connection between Eyjafjallajökull and Katla is tenuous at best. So relax!
- Now, when was the last time you saw a Smithsonian/USGS GVP Weekly Volcanic Report with so little new activity? It is indeed a quiet summer for volcanoes - or maybe this is just in comparison to the Iceland furor of earlier this year. However, the latest report does talk about increasing signs that Gorely may be headed for an eruption and a possible eruption at Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia! There are few details of this event beyond a seismic signal that suggests an explosion, but no ash was seen after the clouds allowed for direct observation. I'll be keeping a close eye on this if Ruiz is becoming active after 20 years of quiet.
- Finally, be sure to check out the excellent article on Yellowstone over at the new home of Highly Allochthonous. It is a great primer for folks who want to know why the caldera is there and see some of the great volcanic features - but I would say that the Hawaii-Emporer Seamount chain is Yellowstone's evil twin (rather than vice versa as Anne and Chris say) - Yellowstone is just cleaning up all those mountains that crumpled North America!