Friday Flotsam: Indonesia "ready to erupt", cryovolcanism on Enceladus and Kamchatka keeps rolling
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.
A quickie post, but there were a few things too good to pass up:
Twenty Indonesian volcanoes "ready to erupt": Ralph at the Volcanism Blog has a great new post today about a report in the Jakarta Globe claims that at least twenty volcanoes in Indonesia are "ready to erupt". This is supposedly based on a report by the the head of the Indonesian Institute of Volcanology and Mitigation of Natural Disasters that has raised the alert status at 17 volcanoes from 1 to 2. Now, as Chris Rowan from Highly Allochthonous pointed out in a tweet, these volcanoes are not likely any more "ready to erupt" than they were last year. However, as with any random distribution of events, sometimes the said events will appear to "cluster", like the activity currently in Indonesia. You can see a great map of the alert status of all the Indonesian volcanoes here - but my guess is that what this might reflect is better monitoring on the part of Institute of Volcanology and Mitigation of Natural Disasters rather than a volcanopocalypse.
Volcanoes on Enceladus: Now, to take our focus from, well, Earth, I saw this great image this morning of 4 plumes on Saturn's moon Enceladus taken by the Cassini probe. These plumes are products of the abundant cryovolcanism on the moon - where water and other volatile materials are erupted much the same as ash is on Earth. In a sense, they are "super geysers" that form from the melting of the icy material inside Enceladus and the source of the heat is likely the tidal energy on the moon from Saturn.
The plumes of Kamchatka: Back on Earth, the NASA Earth Observatory posted a new image of two Russian volcanoes and their plumes - specifically Shiveluch (towards the top) and Kluichevskoi (aka Klyuchevskaya; at the bottom). I recently talked about the source of the abundant volcanism on Kamchatka, and the peninsula just keeps chugging along.
Top left: Gamalama volcano in Indonesia, one of the volcanoes "ready to erupt" according to the Jakarta Globe.