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Guest Thinkers

Monday Musings

Inside you’ll find a Q&A on Martian volcanoes, some new details on the Ethopian eruption, the innards of Halema`uma`u and Nyiragongo from space.

Starting today and going until early August, you might see fewer posts on Eruptions than you’re accustomed. This is because I’m in the process of moving to Ohio to get set up to start my new job as an assistant professor at Denison University. I’m excited about the move, but as you can imagine, trying to pull up stakes in California and trek two-thirds of the way across the continent will take up a lot of my time. I will miss the easy access to volcanoes here on the Left Coast, but I am excited to get (mostly) permanent employment, set up my own lab and to be able to teach geology again!

Halema`uma`u Crater on Kilauea. Image taken on April 2, 2008, courtesy of the NASA EO.

So, with that, here are some news updates:

  • We have a few more bits of info on the recent Manda Hararo eruption in Ethiopia. It seems that the eruption was very similar to one that occurred in the same region 4 years ago – both were rift/fissure vent eruptions that seem to be along a 60-km dike that is being emplaced at depth. This is fairly typical for many of the basaltic volcanic fields in the East African Rift.
  • Want to know more about Martian volcanoes? Colby Magazine has an interview with my friend Dr. Mariek Schmidt on her work with Martian volcanics at the Smithsonian.
  • The NASA Earth Observatory has a great shot of the summit crater at Nyiragongo in the Congo. The image, taken on June 27, 2009, shows the plume of volcanic gases coming from the degassing magma in the summit crater.
  • USGS scientists from HVO have mapped the depths of the Halema`uma`u Crater at Kilauea’s summit and found that it is much deeper than they previously thought. The crater actually reaches down over 200 meters / 650 feet from the edge of the active crater. This laser mapping also shows that the crater has a fairly impressive overhang at the top, suggesting that the crater itself may be relatively unstable and prone to more collapses.

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