GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for October 13-19, 2010
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.
It sure has felt like a quiet fall - at least volcanically-speaking - and this week's Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report seems to back up that feeling. There is only one "new activity" report, that being the latest eruption at Piton de la Fournaise on Reunion Island. Now, this isn't to say that there isn't volcanic activity that didn't make the report. Remember, there are stringent criteria for what sort of information is used in the GVP Weekly Report, but it sure does feel quiet out there right now.
So, some highlights from the report:
Villarrica, Chile: This Chilean volcano tends to almost always have signs of magma near the surface - things like gas plumes and incandencense from the crater area. So, it isn't too surprising to read a report of a small ash cloud from the volcano. Local residents have also reported (spanish) an increase in the fumarolic activity at Villarrica. However, the Volcano Observatory of the Souther Andes (OVDAS) thinks that this activity is normal for the volcano. Remember, there are lots of webcams pointed at Villarrica and its neighbor Llaima.
Kamchatka, Russia: In the always-busy Kamchatka Peninsula, there are reports from KVERT of ash plumes from Shiveluch, Kliuchevskoi and Karymsky. At the same time, seismic activity and thermal anomalies have increased at Gorely, but the Alert Status remains at Yellow. Even Kamchatka has webcams for most of these volcanoes!
Kilauea, Hawai`i: Finally, the lava lake level at Kilauea's Halema`uma`u Crater has been rising/falling upwards of 15-20m from its surface level 150-160m below the floor of the crater. Over at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout on the flanks of the volcano, lava continues to have some ocean entries that have created volcanic deltas - and remember, a lot of this activity is captured on the HVO webcams.
Top left: Villarricca in Chile from the town of Pucon.
Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.
- Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
- 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
- On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.
- Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
- Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
- Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
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