GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for September 7-13, 2011: Canaries rumbling and lots in Indonesia
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.
Our somewhat quiet (beyond Etna's frequent paroxysms - and the cool lava "spine" that formed after the last one) volcanic fall continues. We have been following a lot of rumbling around the world - and we've seen some minor eruptions - but all in all, September has been a fairly low-key month when it comes to volcanic activity.
This week's Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report from the Smithsonian Institute and the USGS is a little busier than previous weeks, so let's check out some highlights:
Canary Islands: For the first time this year, the seismicity at El Hierro has made the report. The volcano, as many of you know, has been experiencing increased seismicity since June, with over 6,200 earthquakes thus far, along with increased carbon dioxide emissions as well. However, beyond this there have been little in the way of other signs that an eruption in coming soon - Cabildo de el Hierro* still has El Hierro on green alert status, even with all this seismicity.
Indonesia: We can add Ranakah on Flores Island in Indonesia as another volcano to watch. Ranakah is a dome complex that most recently saw a VEI 3 eruption in 1987 when the youngest dome was formed. Right now, small steam plumes and increased seismicity have prompted the PVMBG to raise the alert status to 2. Ranakah isn't the only Indonesian volcano to see its alert status go up, as Tambora was raised to alert status 3 after continued rumbling - preparations for possible evacuations are underway by the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) of West Nusa Tenggara. Even Merapi has been puffing away, producing diffuse ash plumes along with GVP Report regular Dukono. Finally, Soputan, saw a marked decrease in activity so the alert status there was lowered to 2.
Top left: An undated view along the shoreline at El Hierro. Image by Rafa Micamara.
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