Thanksgiving Update 2010: Bulusan ash, Pele and Hawai`i and 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.
No long post today - busy with many relative here for Thanksgiving (ah, one of those perplexing American holidays) - but a couple quick notes:
Bulusan: I saw an article today that the latest explosion at Bulusan generated ~466,000 m3 of ash. Now, exactly how much is 466,000 m3? Well, Magma Cum Laude tries to tackle the issue of volcanic eruption rates and volumes. Meanwhile, things are still unsettled at the Philippine volcano.
Indonesia: As you do sit down for Thanksgiving today, give a brief pause for all those in Indonesia who are recovering from the Merapi eruption - an event that might leave lasting scars - and are preparing to evacuate from the area around Bromo. The government has set up an exclusion zone around Bromo as the volcano begins to show signs that it may start erupting again.
Kilauea: Speaking of Thanksgiving, we have a brief volcanoes-meet-culture piece of Pele and Hi'iakaikapoliopele in Hawai`i. The whole dance ceremony is called "He Lei Aloha No Hi'iakaikapoliopele", which roughly translates to paying tribute to Pele's sister, Hi'iakaikapoliopele. It was Thanksgiving Eve in 2007 when a new breakout formed on the flanks of Kilauea and lava flows continue to issue from the site of this event - however lava flows headed towards the ill-fated Kalapana area seem to be slowing down.
Have a happy Thanksgiving (or just plain Thursday)!
Top left: A 2010 lava flow from Kilauea winding its way home for the holidays.
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