Some news for the last Friday in January:

Volcanic lightning captured over Redoubt in March 2009.

  • Tungurahua in Ecuador continues to erupt. Yesterday, the volcano spread ash over much of central Ecuador. Apparently people in Ecuador aren't taking the hazard of ash too seriously, with many ignoring recommendations to wear masks when the ash is falling. Over 50 explosions have been recorded over the last 24 hours at the volcano according to the Ecuadorian Instituto Geofísico, most of them small to moderate.
  • We also have a new USGS/Smithsonian Institute Volcano Activity Report. Much of the "new" news is on the continuing activity at Soufriere Hills and Tungurahua, but they also have reports from India, Chile, Russia and beyond.
  • Got some excess CO2 to sequester? Apparently vesicular basalts might work as a place to keep them - provided they are underwater and covered with sediment.
  • The Redoubt eruption in March 2009 has given scientists at AVO a chance to study volcanic lightning - and identify it as a new kind of lightning. Instead of forming within the ash column/cloud itself as has been seen before (and caused by ash in the eruption), this lighting was sourced from the vent itself - yes, the volcano was producing lightning. Technically, it was still the static electricity stored on the ash particles, but this new source of lightning had not been identified until now. (hat tip to Jim Wiebe.)