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‘Volcanic Top Ten’ curse strikes again 31 March 2009

Posted by admin in miscellaneous, volcanoes.
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When I was a child it was never enough simply to like things or be interested in them: you had to chose the ones you liked best. ‘Yes, but what’s your favourite?’ would be the automatic question, when one admitted to liking this type of sweet, or that type of film. Things had to be arranged in order of merit. ‘Would you like a blackcurrant milkshake?’ ‘No, blackcurrant is only my third favourite.’ I grew out of it eventually.

Anyway, hot on the heels of Discovery Magazine‘s Top 10 Volcanoes in Geologic History, which is not without its problems, we now have Popular Science‘s Top 10 Volcanic Eruptions, which, within the limits of the form, is actually rather better. Listing eruptions rather than volcanoes makes for a better focus – they seem to have gone for VEI=6 and above, sudden and violent events rather than gradual (hence no flood basalts), and with a preference for events that had significant consequences beyond the local. Thus Mount St Helens is not promoted beyond its desserts (as it was by Discovery), whereas the big calderas such as Toba, Tambora and Lake Taupo are included. They spoil it a bit by putting Io in at the end though. Gratuitous extraterrestrialism is always regrettable.

See what you think: Popular Science‘s Top 10 Volcanic Eruptions.

The Volcanism Blog


1. dp - 31 March 2009

I agree whole heartedly, the Io thing, although very interesting in it’s own, really didn’t belong in the context of the top 10 volcanic eruptions. As I read, I was drawn to the conclusion of the Top volcanic eruption, and was unfortunately let down. Overall, the Top 9 were very impressive, I just wish the authors put a little more time into the research, and laid out more stats on each eruption.

2. Suzyk2002 - 31 March 2009

ditto re the lo thing – it’s not the same as referring to an entity that’s actually on this planet and that we have quite a good chance of seeing on the news/internet and if we’re really lucky in the flesh.

Never really got the whole space thing….prefer looking at whats down on this planet!

3. Michael Finn - 31 March 2009

Have to agree with the above. A good list apart from the inclusion of Io, which is interesting in its own right but doesn’t belong.

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