Semeru, Indonesia rumbling to life
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.
People living around Semeru Volcano, Indonesia, have been put on alert for a potential eruption. Indonesia's Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation has put the volcano on level 3 (of 4) alert and said "not to conduct activity at a radius of 4 kilometres from the crater, especially around the south-east of the volcano's slopes." There have also been reports of ash clouds (or steam) being vented from the crater.
Semeru is a very active volcano in a country full of active volcanoes. It has been erupting since 1967, quite a long span for any stratovolcano to be constantly showing signs of eruption. It is likely to erupt pyroclastic material, lava flows and domes and create lahars - it is quite the textbook volcano!
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