Wednesday Whatzits: Lahars at Bulusan and Merapi, activity waning at Bromo and more Iceland
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.
To say I'm busy this week is the understatement of the year - we have our finalist coming in to interview and that eats more time than you might imagine - and the semester has only two weeks left ... and AGU is around the corner! So, I can only offer you a brief update today, but hopefully I'll have more to post later this week!
Eyjafjallajökull: I know a number of you have asked me about my Eyjafjallajokull talk and, as promised, Denison has posted an audio version and an iTunes U version (both free) that combines the audio and my Keynote presentation. Some of you get mentioned by (user)name and your comments are featured prominently, so hopefully you will all enjoy it ~ when it comes down to it, it was really a group effort!
Bulusan: The volcano in the Philippines continues to show signs of unrest and lahars look to be a persistent problem. In an attempt to mitigate against the lahars and the flooding that follows, the Philippine government is dredging rivers leading from the volcano. Luckily, the activity at the volcano seems to be waning, but as with any of these volcanoes, it could change quickly.
Tungurahua: The recent eruption of the Ecuadoran volcano was well documented - so I thought I'd post both a series of images showing the strong explosive action at the crater and a video of the eruption. Ash from the ongoing eruption (spanish) is prompting changes in flight plans (spanish) in Ecuador as well.
Bromo and Merapi: Although there are indications that the activity is waning at Indonesia's Bromo, although air travel is still limited near the volcano . However, evacuees from Merapi may be moved permanently out of harm's way (at least volcano harm) by the Indonesian government to Borneo. Although Merapi has calmed down, rains have produced dangerous lahars, similar to the situation at Bulusan.
Top left: Tungurahua erupting in late November, 2010.
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
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