Skip to content
Guest Thinkers

Monday Musings

Life is already taking back Kasatochi in Alaska, sulfur dioxide emissions have doubled at Mayon but an eruption may not be in the cards and tourism suffers around a Costa Rican volcano.

Some brief notes before I dive headlong into the exciting world of faculty orientation!

A small steam plume coming from Turrialba in Costa Rica. Photo taken in August 2007.

  • There are some preliminary reports of the state of wildlife (and everything) around Kasatochi Island in the Aleutians from the US F&W; and USGS team that headed to check out how the island has recovered since last year’s eruption. The shoreline has been radically transformed by the ash and although some seabirds have made attempts to nest in the loose ash, it doesn’t seem to have been very successful. However, not surprisingly, the island is not devoid of life and some creatures have been able to make a foothold on the volcanic island again.
  • Sulfur dioxide emissions have increased from Mayon in recent days, however geologists from PHIVOLCS do not think this mean an eruption is eminent. The SO2 output has doubled since August 21 and the volcano has been showing signs of unrest all summer. The summit area still glows at night and steam emissions since remain moderate – combined this leaves the volcano at Alert Level 2 (of 4).
  • In a little bit of volcano-and-economy news, the unrest at Turrialba in Costa Rica has caused an increase in tourists wanting to visit the volcano. However, the park has been closed due to poor road conditions near the volcano, along with the increased unrest at the volcano. It is the road closures that have caused the most problems, with many tourist lodges having to send people to other volcanoes such as Irazu – that is if the tourists even bother to try to visit the Turrialba area. It is a trade off as tourism is important for countries like Costa Rica, but the cost of maintaining the parks, especially in mountainous areas, along with the inherent danger of an active volcano, make them difficult situations to manage.
  • And finally, the winner of the latest Volcano Profile poll was Erta’Ale in Ethiopia! This was a fairly close race, with Erta’Ale winning 28% of the vote, New Zealand’s Ruapehu garnering 26% and Soufriere Hills in Montserrat coming in with 25%. Thanks to everyone who voted and look for the Erta’Ale profile in the near future.

  • Related

    Up Next
    I chime in on some of the discussions about caldera-forming eruptions and inflation of volcanoes in the Andes. Also, news on the stimulus money to volcano monitoring and “our island blew up.”