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Quick update on the Nabro (Eritrea) and Puyehue-Cordon Caulle eruptions

June 13, 2011, 9:08 AM

UPDATE (10 AM Eastern): Well, leave it to an eruption this week to not be simple. It appears that the eruption in Eritrea from not from Dubbi but rather from Nabro, an even more mysteries volcano. It is a composite volcano with no known historical eruption - in fact, very little is known about the volcano beyond the fact that it is part of a volcanic complex that has a number of nested calderas. I've fixed the post below accordingly - and you can check out another great update on the eruption on the Volcanism Blog. Now, for real, I am out!

Original Post:

I was going to post a pretty generic open thread post today before departing for the next week, but with a couple fairly big volcano news stories, I thought I'd put a brief update and then leave this post as the open thread for the break. Feel free to post any new volcano news that happens over the week. (Oh yes, and the wedding went fabulously ... even the weather cooperated with us, which is somewhat remarkable considering how unsettled it has been this week.)

Eritrea: Ron Schott made me aware of the new eruption in a remote part of Eritrea - apparently located with the help of Google Earth (along with sulfur dioxide, satellite and earthquake data). The eruption itself appears to be from the Nabro volcano and and has a significant plume associated with it. The volcano itself is really in the middle of nowhere, off near the coast of the Red Sea in northern Eritrea. Nabro is one of the basaltic rift volcanoes that lie along the East African Rift, where Africa is being opened like a zipper (the Red Sea is also part of this splitting of continents). There is no known historical eruptions of Nabro, but it appears that the volcano has had Holocene (<11,700 years ago) eruptions. One interesting note is speculation of how any extending periods of ash might effect the hurricane season as the ash is blown westward over Africa (see top left) to the Atlantic. Check out all the details over on the Volcanism Blog and the Volcano Blog.

Chile: I had been keeping loose track of the air travel snags in South America from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle eruption but I was even surprised that the ash from the eruption would cause such aviation problems as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. Some airlines have cancelled almost all their flights to New Zealand and Tasmania (and beyond), while other, such as Air New Zealand, has decided to try to fly different routes and at different altitudes to avoid the ash (which is mostly confined to altitudes between 25,000-35,000 feet).

With that, I will leave this designated as the open thread for this week. Look for some posts to appear later in the week - and if you are really looking for new news, be sure to check out the Volcanism Blog for all the news.

See you all next week!

Top left: A MODIS image of the ash plume from Nabro in Eritrea as seen on June 12, 2011. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Quick update on the Nabro (...

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