Thursday Throwdown: Eyjafjallajökull update, VPOW and the weekly SI/USGS Report
The eruption in Iceland roars onward, introducing the Volcano Picture of the Week and Kilauea lava flows take a wrong turn.
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.
Grading grading grading!
- A quick update on the Eyjafjallajökull eruption: The volcano has been producing an impressive ash plume over the last day (see image above). The current ash plume is reaching 5.8-6 km height (19-20,000 ft) - and causing some trouble over Ireland and Scotland. However, much of airspace closed yesterday has reopened (for now). You can see two new images of the ash plume over at the NASA Earth Observatory. As for the continued fallout from the ash plume from April, British Airways says it cost the airline ~22% of its normal passenger load. The Icelandic Met Office has an interesting piece up on the depth that the magma is rising for the current eruption - and it looks like it is coming from >20 km. And if you're one of the many webcam watchers, the Þórólfsfelli webcam has added an additional thermal viewer (FLIR),
so you can even watch the volcano through the Iceland fog(apparently FLIR can't see through fog, sorry!). You can also check out some of the sulfur dioxide output from the volcano, measured by satellite.\n
- Do you stare at your IAVCEI volcano calendar longingly, which each month revealing another stunning volcano photo? Well, now you can get a new stunning volcano image over at Volcano Picture of the Week (VPOW). There are a great number of volcano photographers - amateur and professional - that have capture amazing images of the planet's volcanism and now you have a chance to show off. Richard Roscoe of Photovolcanica has set up VPOW to be a volcano-version of the Astronomy Picture of the Day (and maybe someday it can become VPOD). \n
- We have the latest USGS/Smithsonian GVP Weekly Volcano Activity Report. It includes information on the most recent activity at Villarrica in Chile, Rinjani in Indonesia and Kliuchevskoi in Russia (and that other volcano, you know, the one in Iceland). \n
- Finally, lava flows from Kilauea have been causing some problems, closing a popular viewing site. A home in Kalapana might be in the path of the lava flow as well. You can see a great picture of the lava flow overtaking a Highway 130.
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