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Monday Musings: Busy times in Indonesia, stress and volcanoes, Korean volcanic hazards and the Auckland Volcanic Disaster (on TV)

Busy weekend (well, mostly grading, but that does eat time like you wouldn’t believe), so here are some quick hits from the news file:

Busy Indonesia: As people begin to return to the area near Sinabung, two more Indonesian volcanoes begin to make more noise. Merapi was closed to climbers over the weekend due to increased threat of an eruption while Karangetang was elevated to orange status due to increasing signs of an impending eruption. Both are very active volcanoes … and speaking of Indonesia eruption, there was an interesting historical article that talked about the migration of New Englanders to Ohio after the Tambora eruption of 1815 – a nice link between human migration and an eruption on the other side of the planet.

Using stress to find the eruption: There is a new study in Nature Geosciences that talks to the relationship between stress in the Earth’s crust and the potential location of volcanic eruptions. You might say “the eruption is at the volcano, silly!” and well, you’d be right, however in events like the fissure-vent stage of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, the location of the first fissure might have been predicted by analysing the stresses in the crust around the area – at least based on the study by Dr. Ian Hamling and others on eruptions in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

Potential flooding if Mt. Baekdu erupts: We’ve discussed a little bit about the large caldera system sitting between China and North Korea and its potential for a new eruption. A new study out of South Korea suggests that if Mt. Baekdu (aka Changbaishan) were to erupt again, a major problem would be flooding generated by the breach of Lake Cheonji in the caldera. Again, there are no signs the caldera is likely to erupt soon, but the threat is there.

New Zealand Volcano Disaster on TV: If you live in New Zealand, I’d love to hear if you watched Eruption, a TV drama about a potential eruption in the Auckland Volcanic Field that underlies the city of the same name. Sounds like a real gem …

Top left: An undated image of Merapi in Indonesia.


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