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Friday Flotsam: Back from break with Kamchatka, Bulusan and Etna

I am back from my break – it was a good time in New England, even with the Snowicane that kept us at home for a couple days. I definitely needed the break and considering how little I actually thought about geology most of the time, I think it was time well spent. Now, I just need to start getting my act back together to actually start 2011 on the right foot. I thought for today I’d try to catch up a little bit with any news I missed (well, at least some of the news I missed) and then look for the announcement of the 2010 Pliny for volcanic event of the year on Monday. You still have time to make your voice heard for the 2010 Pliny – so head over and leave your comments/votes for the award.

Some updates!

Kamchatka: Sounds like looking at your comments over my vacation that Kamchatka was being noisy as usual. The latest USGS/SI Volcanic Activity Report did have plenty to sat about Kizimen, Shiveluch and Karymsky. All these volcanoes produced some sort of explosive eruption over the past week, including a 4-km ash plume at Karymsky. Most recently, the activity at Kizimen has been downgraded to “Orange” from “Red”, but the NASA Earth Observatory posted a great image of the swirling ash over the volcano on December 30 (UPDATE: and here is another from December 31). Speaking of the Kamchatkan volcanoes, I had neglected to post anything about a recent article I saw about using lightning to detect ash clouds before they show up on radar or satellite images – sounds promising and Kamchatka is a great location to test the tool.

Philippines: Bulusan also made a little noise over my vacation, with a few small explosions reaching ~500 meters / 900 feet and an slight uptick in seismicity. The latest report from PHILVOLC says that the volcano experienced 8 earthquakes over the last day but much of the summit area has been obscured by clouds, so any hope of seem small explosions is limited. The volcano remains at alert status 1 with a 4-km “no entry” zone around the volcano.

Etna/Stromboli: And with Dr. Behcke has been keeping us so well appraised, I sometimes forget to post about the activity in Italy, including small explosions and earthquakes at both Etna and Stromboli over the Christmas holiday. There are some great thermal images made of the explosions from last week on the INGV Catania website where you can see the plume of material bursting from the crater during each event.

Have a safe and happy New Year’s (i.e., don’t climb into Mt. Bromo) and I’ll see you all in 2011!

Top left: Kizimen on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia.


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