GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for March 23-29, 2011
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.
I am running behind schedule today, so only a brief post - but luckily it is packed with plenty of good volcano info: the latest Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report.
Thanks again to Sally Kuhn Sennert for putting together the report.
Some highlights from this week's update:
Hawai`i: Many of you have been watching the Kilauea webcams as lava has now returned to the summit and Pu`u O`o craters. It appears that the magmatic system under Kilauea is slowly returning to its pre-Kamoamoa orientation, but well worth keeping an eye on for more developments.
Central America: San Miguel in El Salvador has been showing signs of increasing activity, including gas pulses rising a few hundred meters above the crater and increasing seismicity at the volcano. This activity appears to wax and wane, so it is unclear whether it will lead to a new eruptive period one of the most active Central American volcanoes. Meanwhile, Santa Maria in Guatemala produced a number of pyroclastic flows from the Santiaguito domes with very small ash plumes (<1 km) accompanying the activity.
Japan: Kirishima's Shinmoedake Crater continues to puff away, producing some 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 foot) ash plumes, but overall, much less activity than we saw earlier in 2011. The same could be said for Kirishima's neighbor, Sakurajima, that produced small, 1.2-2.4 km (4-8,000 foot) ash plumes, although one was seen to reach as high as 3.4 km (11,000 feet).
Montserrat: In has been a while since I've mentioned Soufriere Hills, but this week the volcano produced a few large pyroclastic flows that traveled more than 2 km from the summit dome complex. This is all part of the continuing activity at Soufriere Hills that started in 1995.
Top left: An undated image of El Salvador's San Miguel.
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