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The wonder of volcanoes at Bad Astronomy 5 March 2012

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Recently-active Tinakula volcano in the Solomon Islands

Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog will, I’m sure, need no introduction to many Volcanism Blog readers (and if you do need an introduction, nothing I could say would beat just going there and seeing for yourself). In a beautiful post today Phil lets rip with his love for volcanoes and gives us some of the most stunning satellite images of volcanoes he’s been able to lay his hands on, including the stunning view of Tinakula above. It’s not just pretty pictures, though: Phil points out that observing volcanoes from space tells us more about them and what they are up to, adding to the knowledge of geologists, volcanologists and seismologists: ‘And given the number of people who live near active volcanoes, this knowledge saves lives. It really is that simple: the better we understand the world — the Universe — around us, the better off we are’.

The Volcanism Blog

A webcam for Arenal 11 June 2011

Posted by admin in Arenal, Costa Rica, volcano images, volcano monitoring, volcano webcams.
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Arenal volcano viewed from OVSICORI-UNA webcam, 8 June 2011.

Even in Costa Rica, a land well-provided with active and spectacular volcanoes, Arenal stands out as something special. It’s now possible to keep a close watch on Arenal via a new webcam installed by the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (OVSICORI-UNA). It is located to the south of Arenal 1.4 km from the summit and, weather permitting, gives a fine view of the volcano’s elegant cone. The image is available via this page (or click on the image above) and refreshes every 10 seconds. Be careful — volcano webcams can be addictive!

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Arenal – summary information for Arenal (1405-033)
Volcán Arenal en vivo – OVSICORI-UNA webcam for Arenal
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica – home page for Ovsicori

The Volcanism Blog

Introducing VPOW: Volcano Picture Of the Week 4 May 2010

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If you are a volcano photographer you may be interested in Volcano Picture Of the Week, a new project by Richard Roscoe (of Photovolcanica). VPOW is a non-commercial website for presenting high quality volcano photographs. Submissions are invited from interested photographers, and one image will be selected for presentation each week (on the model of the popular and much-admired Astronomy Picture of the Day).

Visit the site for further information, and to see great volcano pictures in the archive.

The Volcanism Blog

Soufrière Hills: spectacular images at Stromboli Online 9 February 2010

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Over at the wonderful volcanism site Stromboli Online there is extensive photo documentation of recent activity at Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat. The images, which show ash venting, pyroclastic flows, rockfalls and more at Soufrière Hills, form a spectacular and informative visual record of one of the most dramatic and interesting of current eruptions.

Stromboli Online: Soufrière Hills

UPDATE. More sensational Soufrière Hills imagery – our friends at Activolcans have posted a comment below recommending Thorsten Boeckel’s site, where there are more great photographs of activity on Montserrat (and elsewhere).

For all our Soufrière Hills coverage: Soufrière Hills « The Volcanism Blog.

The Volcanism Blog

Saturday Volcano Art: Auguste Desperret, ‘Troisième éruption du volcan de 1789′ (1833) 5 September 2009

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Auguste Desperret (1804-65) was a French artist who produced political cartoons and caricatures for the republican satirical weekly La Caricature, edited by Charles Philipon, which flourished briefly in France following the relaxation of press censorship brought by the July Revolution of 1830. That revolution brought an end to the authoritarian rule of King Charles X, who was forced into exile and replaced by the ‘July Monarchy’ of Louis-Philippe I (who would in turn be overthrown in the revolution of 1848). The first issue of La Caricature appeared in November 1830, and the last in August 1835; the ‘September Laws’ of the latter year, passed in response to an attempted assassination of the king, reimposed political censorship of the press and ended publication. In those few years, however, La Caricature had drawn on the skills of some very talented artists – most notably perhaps Honoré Daumier – to create some of the most memorable and effective political caricature in the history of the genre.

The lithograph reproduced here was published in issue no. 135 of La Caricature, 6 June 1833. Its full title is ‘troisième éruption du volcan de 1789, qui doit avoir lieu avant la fin du monde, qui fera trembler tous les trônes, et renversera une foule de monarchies’: ‘third eruption of the volcano of 1789, to take place before the end of the world, which will shake all thrones, and overturn a horde of monarchies’. The first eruption of this volcano of liberty was of course in 1789 itself, the outbreak of the French Revolution. The second was the July Revolution of 1830. In this image, Desperret warns, as the July Monarchy increasingly turns against the principles of French republicanism, that the third such eruption is yet to come.

(more…)

Volcanic eruptions seen from space, at Wired.com 24 August 2009

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Shiveluch erupting 2004 (NASA)

Wired.com have a very nice new gallery up today: erupting volcanoes on Earth as seen from space. Ten superb images are featured, including Sarychev Peak in 2009, Redoubt in 2009, Etna in 2002, Chaitén in 2008 and Shiveluch in 2004 (above).

(The best selection of volcano images taken from space is of course available direct from source: NASA’s Earth Observatory and Gateway to Astronaut Photography of the Earth.)

Erupting volcanoes on Earth as seen from space – Wired.com, 24 August 2009

The Volcanism Blog

Saturday Volcano Art: Giovanni Battista Lusieri, ‘Vesuvius from Posillipo by Night’ (1797) 18 July 2009

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Giovanni Battista Lusieri, 'Vesuvius from Posillipo by Night, during the Eruption of 1787' (1797)

Although this picture was painted in 1797, it depicts an eruption that took place some ten years earlier, in the summer of 1787. The painter was Giovanni Battista Lusieri, who was born in Rome around 1755 and from around 1782 worked as a painter of local views in Naples, producing pictures of the city and its picturesque surroundings – including Mount Vesuvius, then very active – for travellers visiting Naples on the ‘Grand Tour’. Demand for Lusieri’s work was such that he produced multiple copies of some of his most popular images by printing outline etchings of them which he then coloured by hand.

This view of Vesuvius in eruption was painted using Lusieri’s characteristic technique of watercolour washes, with ink used for outlines and some detailed modelling, producing an image of precision and delicacy. He was dedicated to accuracy, spending long hours perfecting his images, and insisted on the primacy of nature over the artist’s imagination in art: ‘one should faithfully imitate nature’. This view of the volcano erupting in the moonlight, its orange lava contrasting with the silver sky and the tranquil waters of the bay, nonetheless has a powerfully romantic atmosphere.

Giovanni Battista Lusieri, 'Vesuvius from Posillipo by Night, during the Eruption of 1787' (1797) - detail

From 1799 Lusieri worked as an agent for Lord Elgin, overseeing Elgin’s programme of acquisitions of art and antiquities in Greece from 1801 onwards, including the removal of the Parthenon sculptures now known as the Elgin Marbles. Lusieri died in Athens in 1821, lamenting that his work for Elgin had prevented him from devoting himself to his art. Further disappointment was in store, had he lived to see it: a ship carrying the majority of his watercolours sank in 1828, leaving little of his work for the appreciation of posterity.

For all ‘Saturday volcano art’ articles: Saturday volcano art « The Volcanism Blog.

Further reading

Giovanni Battista Lusieri – biography from the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
Giovanni Battista Lusieri – another biography, from the National Galleries of Scotland.
Vedutismo e Grand Tour – complete text in Italian of Fabrizia Lucilla Spirito, Vedutismo e Grand Tour: Giovan Battista Lusieri e i suoi contemporanei (doctoral thesis, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, 2006); link is to a page from which the PDF can be downloaded.
Vesuvius on the Grand Tour – volcanic tourism in the eighteenth century, from the Georgian Index.

[Thanks to the Volcanism Blog reader who sent in this picture and suggested it as a subject for 'Saturday Volcano Art'.]

The Volcanism Blog

Stunning Sarychev Peak picture from the NASA Earth Observatory 19 June 2009

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Sarychev Peak eruption, Kuril Islands, 12 June 2009 (ISS astronaut photograph/NASA Earth Observatory)

The people at the NASA Earth Observatory have been doing a wonderful job of covering the current eruption at Sarychev Peak in the Kuril Islands, but they have really excelled themselves with their latest image: this stunning astronaut photograph of the volcano taken from the International Space Station on 12 June 2009, at an early stage of this eruption. There’s so much of interest to talk about here: the dark ashy plume punching upwards through the atmosphere almost vertically (little shearing wind at this stage), the pileus or cap of white cloud atop the plume, the pyroclastic flows ringing the volcano’s peak, and the neat circle in the surrounding cloud that has been the focus of much discussion among commenters over at Eruptions. Mostly, though, one just wants to sit back and look at this picture and go ‘WOW’.

Here’s a detail taken from the large version of the image. The light-coloured pyroclastic flow descending the volcano’s flanks towards the bottom of the image is an absolute beauty:

Sarychev Peak eruption, Kuril Islands, 12 June 2009 (ISS astronaut photograph/NASA Earth Observatory)

The original (un-rotated and un-cropped) image can be found at the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of the Earth.

NASA Earth Observatory: Sarychev Peak eruption, Kuril Islands (18 June 2009)

[Date corrected to 12 June - got so excited over the image, I'd put July. Thanks, Martin!]

UPDATE: The image above is just one of thirty pictures of the eruption taken from the International Space Station. Boris Behncke has submitted a very helpful comment explaining how to get hold of all of them via the Gateway to Astronaut Photography: check out his comment below for the instructions.

FURTHER UPDATE (25 June 2009): This dramatic image has achieved very wide coverage across the media since the NASA Earth Observatory featured it, and the ‘circle in the clouds’ around the eruption column in particular has attracted a lot of comment and debate. At the original Earth Observatory page for the image an editorial comment has been added summarizing the different interpretations of this phenomenon (scroll down to ‘Editor’s note’) without coming down in favour of any particular explanation. Here at The Volcanism Blog we’ll have more to say about this image tomorrow next week (been very busy, sorry).

For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports

The Volcanism Blog

More pictures from Chaitén 13 May 2009

Posted by admin in Chaitén, Chile, eruptions, volcano images.
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The novelist Karen Dionne has recently been in Chaitén, where she has been researching her new novel Boiling Point (she has a blog here about her time in Chaitén, including many images and videos). Karen was kind enough to send The Volcanism Blog the following pictures, giving a vivid impression of what it’s like to get close to the volcano. Karen’s guide on this trip was Nicolas La Penna, who has himself provided us with some wonderful Chaitén images in the past. These pictures were taken on 26 April 2009.

Chaiten 26 April 2009 (photograph by Karen Dionne)

Chaiten 26 April 2009 (photograph by Karen Dionne)

Chaiten 26 April 2009 (photograph by Karen Dionne)

Chaiten 26 April 2009 (photograph by Karen Dionne)

You can read more about Karen Dionne’s time in Chaitén, and see some affecting images of the abandoned town, in an article she has written for The Huffington Post: ‘Chaitén volcano – one year later’.

For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (Spanish)
Erupción del Volcán Chaitén – extensive coverage of the Chaitén eruption

The Volcanism Blog

Pictures from Chaitén documentary makers 12 May 2009

Posted by admin in Chaitén, Chile, eruptions, volcano images.
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The Chilean film company 7 Tierras Producciones is working with German company Dream Team Medienproduktion on a documentary about the eruption of Chaitén volcano in southern Chile. In the course of production – which is ongoing, and they are currently seeking funding to continue production to January 2010 – they have made a very large collection of photographs, some of which Jorge Guzmán of 7 Tierras has been generous enough to share with The Volcanism Blog. These photographs were taken by Cristian Canessa. The aim is to publish many of these images in book form, to be released alongside the film.

Chaiten 28 April 2009 (7 Tierras Producciones: photographer Cristian Canessa, producer Jorge Guzmán)
Picture taken at 17:44 on 28 April 2009, looking northwards at the volcano, showing the plume being erupted from Chaitén’s lava dome. (7 Tierras Producciones: photographer Cristian Canessa, producer Jorge Guzmán.)

Chaiten 28 April 2009 (7 Tierras Producciones: photographer Cristian Canessa, producer Jorge Guzmán)
Picture taken at 23:52 on 28 April 2009 from approximately the same position, showing incandescence from the lava dome. (7 Tierras Producciones: photographer Cristian Canessa, producer Jorge Guzmán.)

Many thanks to Jorge Guzmán and 7 Tierras for letting The Volcanism Blog reproduce these pictures.

For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (Spanish)
Erupción del Volcán Chaitén – extensive coverage of the Chaitén eruption

The Volcanism Blog

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