In other volcano news: Restlessness at Taal and Mayon, more explosions at Telica, Tungurahua is a winner
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.
Not surprisingly, we've been very distracted this week by the activity at Grímsvötn, but there has been other volcano news while all eyes have been on Iceland. I'll try to catch us up on some of this activity:
Taal: Before this unexpected eruption in Iceland, we were all closely watching the rumbling in the Philippines. Well, little has changed at Taal - there are still earthquakes under the caldera and people are still resistant to moving away from the potential danger zone on Volcano Island. There was a fish kill in Taal Lake this week that has been blamed on waste from pig farms rather than any volcanic activity, but such fish kills could happen if volcanic activity was approaching. Seismicity is relatively low right now - some days have as little has 4-5 earthquakes, however the lake on Volcano Island has continued to increase in temperature and decrease in pH (more acidic). PHIVOLCS has kept the volcano at Alert Status 2.
Mayon: Meanwhile, another Philippine volcano is becoming more restless as well. PHIVOLCS reported 38 earthquakes at Mayon over the last 24 hours, with weak steaming and incandescence at the summit. The volcano has also experienced slight inflation since March, which is an ominous sign, suggesting new eruptions might be on the way. However, the Alert Status remains at Level 1.
Telica: The Nicaraguan volcano is still stirring, with hundreds evacuated last week and authorities warning airlines about the potential ash hazard from the volcano. Telica is still producing small eruptive plumes of ~600 meters (see top left). Some of the images of the eruption suggest pyroclastic flow generation as well. Over 800 earthquakes were recorded at the volcano in 12 hours on May 24. COMUPRED, the Nicaragua emergency management agency, is prepared to evacuate upwards of 5,000 people if the eruptions become more intense as INETER has not ruled out larger explosions from the volcano.
Tungurahua: Not a lot to report on the Ecuadoran volcano - but I was amused to see that the winning question for this year's National Geography Bee was concerning the location of Tungurahua. You never know when that volcano knowledge might come in useful, eh?
Volcano Report: And if you have an Android phone, you can try out a new App that summarizes volcanic activity worldwide. No luck for me as I have an iOS handheld, but any Android user should check it out and report back.
Top left: The steaming summit region of Telica in Nicaragua seen earlier this week.
The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?
- History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
- In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
- Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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