Getting insured on an active volcano
On second thought, living on an active volcano might be problematic.
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.
The Royal Gardens subdivision in Hawai'i being inundated with lava flows during a 1983 eruption of Kilauea. Image courtesy of the USGS.
The game of insurance is everywhere in the news these days so it isn't too surprising to run across this brief article about the perils of getting insured if you live on an active volcano. Many people who live on the big island of Hawai'i face this challenge because a large swaths of the island fall into what is called a "Lava Zone 1", which more or less means that you live someplace that lava is likely to visit in the foreseeable future. Considering that the entire island is made of overlapping volcanoes and their associated lava flows, it is not too surprising that people would want to know where it is more or less likely that a lava flow might incur its slow-moving wrath. Thus, the division of the island into relative lava hazard zones. These zones represent areas that have been covered by lava over the last 200 and 750 years, as defined by Mullineux and Peterson for the USGS back in 1974. It pretty clearly shows that building in a Lava Zone 1 area that you have more than a 50-50 shot of being covered in lava over a 750 year period. Now, I'm not sure how this all breaks down in the vast computers of the insurance companies, but apparently its not a bet they're willing to take anymore. Lesson here might be that if you want to live in places like the slopes of Kilauea, insurance might not be easy to come by - but that is the tradeoff: natural beauty for a modern sense of security.
Just to remind you how active Kilauea is, the glow at the summit vent of the volcano has returned after being snuffed out by a rockfall earlier this summer. There is a brief infrared thermal video of the Halema`uma`u Crater showing the heat and gases escaping from the revived vent.
These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.
- A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
- This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
- Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
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