Additional monitoring proposed for Newberry Caldera in Oregon
I write the Eruptions blog on Big Think. I've been mesmerized with volcanoes (and geology) all my life. It helps that part of my family comes from the shadow of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, where I could see first hand the deadly effects of volcanic eruptions. Since then, I've taken a bit of a winding path to become a volcanologist. I started as a history major at Williams College, almost went into radio, but ended up migrating to geology, including an undergraduate thesis on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. I followed this up by changing coast to get my Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Then I ran a MC-ICP-MS lab at University of Washington for a spell (and wrote for an indie rock website). I spent three years as a postdoctoral scholar at University of California - Davis studying the inner workings of magmatic systems. I am now an assistant professor at Denison University and have projects in New Zealand, Chile and Oregon.
I am fascinated by volcanoes, their eruptions and how those eruptions interact with the people who live around the volcanoes. I started this blog after getting frustrated with the news reports of volcanic eruptions. Most of them get the information wrong and/or are just sensationalistic. I will try to summarize eruptions as they occur, translate some of the volcanic processes that are happening and comment on the reports themselves.
And no matter what people tell you, I definitely do not have a cat named Tephra. (OK, I do).
You can find out more about my research by visiting my website. If you have any comments, questions or information, feel free to contact me at eruptionsblog at gmail dot com.
If you could pick as close to an anonymous volcano in the Pacific Northwest, you might be tempted to pick Newberry Caldera in Oregon (I might also take partial credit for picking Medicine Lake in California). Newberry is a caldera volcano (and National Volcanic Monument) surrounded by smaller scoria cones and lava flows - and it hosted one of the more impressive rhyolite domes on the west coast, the aptly named "Big Obsidian Flow" (that you can hike in and around). The Big Obsidian Flow (see top left) is the most recent eruption at Newberry, occuring ~1,300 years ago. The volcano has experienced thousands of eruptions of the last 600,000 years and a number of VEI 3-4 eruptions in the past 10,000 years, which means that Newberry is far from "extinct" as volcanoes go. The caldera is a popular tourist destination, with Paulina and East Lakes within the caldera, separated by lava flows within the caldera itself. Combined with the volcano's proximity to ever-growing Bend, you would think that Newberry volcano should be closely watched for any signs of new activity. However, there isn't much in the way of monitoring of the volcano - only one station for the entire caldera.
The USGS and the Cascades Volcano Observatory would like to change this over the summer. They hope to add 8 seismometers and GPS monitoring to the volcano pending ~$225,000 of funding to set up the stations. That should be chump change even in this financial climate considering the costs related to a potential eruption of Newberry. As Dr. Cynthia Gardner of the USGS/CVO puts it, Newberry is "a big honking volcano and it deserves more than we have on it right now."
Newberry has also been in the news as a potential source of geothermal energy in central Oregon. So far, no prospect had lead to establishing a geothermal plant, but one might expect that the heat flow near Newberry should be a good source for geothermal energy.
Top left: An undated image of the Big Obsidian Flow in Newberry Caldera, Oregon.
Are university safe spaces killing intellectual growth?
Our experience of time may be blinding us to its true nature, say scientists.
- Time may not be passing at all, says the Block Universe Theory.
- Time travel may be possible.
- Your perception of time is likely relative to you and limited.
From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.
- Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
- But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
- Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
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