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Friday Flotsam: Yellowstone slows down, Pakistan eruption clues, NASA images and “Volcano Hell”

Lots of news for your Friday including the latest USGS/Smithsonian volcano report, fewer earthquakes at Yellowstone, satellite images of two active volcanoes and examining the inside of Etna (for all the wrong reasons).


Pakistan is home to the world’s tallest mud volcano in the region of Balochistan – and its somewhat near the reports of an “eruption” earlier this week.

  • Guess what? Since Wednesday evening, seismicity at Yellowstone has dropped precipitously. The last batch of earthquakes on February 3rd were also back to deeper levels – 8-9 km depth – compared to the potential shallowing earlier in the week. I’m sure the caldera will keep us on our toes, but as of now, it seems to have settled down a bit.
  • Over in Pakistan, there is mounting evidence that the recent “volcanic” eruption reported as, in fact, a mud volcano similar to the one reported in Azerbijian yesterday. There can be explosions associated with mud volcanoes as trapped natural gases escape and (potentially) ignite. There is a long history of mud volcanoes in Pakistan, especially in the region where this eruption was reported.
  • In case you missed it, frequent Eruptions commenter and part of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Catania, Dr. Boris Behncke, was on the Discovery Channel show Solving History. He was talking about Mt. Etna in a part of an episode looking for Atlantis (?) – the segment is called “Volcano Hell” (nice touch, eh?) Sadly, they aren’t streaming the part with Dr. Behncke in it (so Boris, has Etna been “wreaking havoc on Europe” as Olly says?) Now, if only someone would give me a call to be on TV… {hat tip to Doug for point this out.}
  • The NASA Earth Observatory has a few good images to send us into the weekend. First captures the swirling ash clouds from the revived Soufriere Hills on Montserrat. The second shows the beautiful snow-covered symmetrical cone of Karymsky filling the old caldera that surrounds the new edifice on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
  • Finally, lost in all the Yellowstone, Pakistan and Japanese volcano news, the latest USGS/Smithsonian Weekly Volcano Report was issued. One of the interesting things it points out is that after all the activity in January of Nyamuragira, its neighbor Nyiragongo is now showing signs of an impending eruption.

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