Update from the field
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.
First off, sorry for being so scarce lately! The field and lab work has taken up almost all my time, so finding a few moments to blog have been tough. I'm also traveling light with only my iPad, so that has added to the challenge.
Some highlight so far:
- I collected (with help from Dr. David Greene from Denison and Dr. Jade Star Lackey from Pomona) samples of more rhyolites from the Mineral King pendant. The biggest challenge was the sample from Vandever Mt., which took a 6+ mile hike in, an overnight at 10,000 feet and a final slog to over 11,000 feet to grab the sample.
- While at Pomona, Jade Star and I extracted zircon from the rhyolites and from one gabbro as well. I'll post some images next week.
Today, my research student and I will mount the zircons from Mineral King and some zircon from the 1915 Lassen Peak eruption that Matt extracted. Then, we're off to Lassen to see some rocks (and hopefully less snow than predicted) over the weekend before blasting the zircons on the SHRIMP-RG at Stanford next week.
I know I've missed at lot of action at Cleveland, Lokon, Etna, Kilauea and more, but I'll try to have more updates next week. Otherwise, keep up the great job you all have been doing with the news in the comments!
See you next week.
Top left: Painting "Creation" by Barbara K. Mindell.
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