Skip to content

Erik Klemetti

Volcanologist, Denison University

I write the Eruptions blog on Big Think.  I've been mesmerized with volcanoes (and geology) all my life. It helps that part of my family comes from the shadow of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, where I could see first hand the deadly effects of volcanic eruptions. Since then, I've taken a bit of a winding path to become a volcanologist. I started as a history major at Williams College, almost went into radio, but ended up migrating to geology, including an undergraduate thesis on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. I followed this up by changing coast to get my Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Then I ran a MC-ICP-MS lab at University of Washington for a spell (and wrote for an indie rock website). I spent three years as a postdoctoral scholar at University of California - Davis studying the inner workings of magmatic systems. I am now an assistant professor at Denison University and have projects in New Zealand, Chile and Oregon.

I am fascinated by volcanoes, their eruptions and how those eruptions interact with the people who live around the volcanoes. I started this blog after getting frustrated with the news reports of volcanic eruptions. Most of them get the information wrong and/or are just sensationalistic. I will try to summarize eruptions as they occur, translate some of the volcanic processes that are happening and comment on the reports themselves.

And no matter what people tell you, I definitely do not have a cat named Tephra. (OK, I do).

You can find out more about my research by visiting my website. If you have any comments, questions or information, feel free to contact me at eruptionsblog at gmail dot com.

nn If you’re interested in the latest eruption at Mt. Etna (Italy), here are some great images posted at Stromboli Online. Nothing like some good spatter amongst friends.
Some news from the Chaiten eruption. Apparently, LanChile has cancelled some flights around the region of southern Chile due to the ash. They likely implies that the eruption column is […]
Everyone loves a “supervolcano”*. According to a recent report, Los Angeles will be erupting from underneath Yellowstone Caldera (Wyoming). OK, not really, but apparently there has been 7 cm of […]
There are, indeed, other volcanoes erupting right now worldwide other than Chaiten. Of course, when you have an eruption like Chaiten going on, it is hard to pay attention to […]
Etna, one of Italy’s (and the world’s) most active volcanoes, has started erupting again. Saturday night the volcano erupted lava flows, although that is pretty much all the details in […]
nn I’ve been trying to keep up with the Chaiten eruption in Chile, but the news is just beginning to sound like a broken record: eruption continues, ash falls, don’t […]
nn Looks like we should expect an eruption at Ruapehu (New Zealand) any time now. Tremors are ongoing, along with increased volcanic gas emissions (specifically SO2 here) and warmer temperatures […]
nn While I was looking at the gallery of Chaiten photos, I noticed another headline (in spanish) saying that the SERNAGEOMIN has issued a yellow alert for potential activity at Puyehue. […]
nn To keep us up to date on the goings-on at Chaiten in southern Chile, well, the volcano is still erupting! Yes, two weeks in and heavy ash is still […]
If Chaiten, Llaima and Puyehue weren’t enough, the Chilean Regional Emergency Office is placing seismometers on Peteroa volcano after its shown signs of increasing activity. The volcano is located out […]
nn Happy 28th anniversary of the 1980 Mt. Saint Helens eruption. The volcano had a catastrophic collapse of one side of the edifice that triggered the climatic eruption. Enjoy this clip from […]