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Away for a few days 10 July 2010

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Things will be quiet here for a few days because of a brief holiday. The Volcanism Blog will resume at full strength on Thursday 15 July.

The Volcanism Blog

Alan Sullivan, volcano watcher 10 July 2010

Posted by admin in miscellaneous, personal, volcanoes.
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The Volcanism Blog has lost a respected friend with the death on 9 July 2010 of Alan Sullivan. Alan was a tireless volcano watcher, among many other things. He’ll be missed.

The Volcanism Blog

Down with serpentine; or, clueless in California 6 July 2010

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This is not volcanic, just ludicrous. The official State Rock of California is serpentine. The days of serpentine holding that honour may be numbered, however: State Senator Gloria Romero has decided that serpentine = asbestos = cancer and is demanding that California dump serpentine and ‘leave the state rock unspecified’, for ‘California should not designate a rock known to be toxic to the health of its residents as the state’s official rock’. To find out more go to Eruptions, where this nonsense is taken down with style by Dr Erik Klemetti.

(California was apparently the first American state to designate a State Rock. It also has a State Fish, State Flower, State Reptile, State Soil, etc, and perhaps a State Smell and State Hairstyle as well; Delaware has a State Macroinvertebrate, so anything’s possible.)

The Volcanism Blog

Eyjafjallajökull webcam catches glimpse of Iceland Coffee Guy 4 May 2010

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Eyjafjallajokull webcam: coffee guy 4 May 2010

Our thanks to Betty in AZ for sending in this glimpse of the fabled Iceland Coffee Guy, captured on the Eyjafjallajökull Þórólfsfelli webcam this morning. Click on the image to enlarge.

[The ever-vigilant webcam watchers at Eruptions spotted him, I see. And that’s a great view of the plumes behind his head.]

The Volcanism Blog

Build your own Eyjafjallajökull 30 April 2010

Posted by admin in Eyjafjöll, Iceland, miscellaneous, volcano culture, volcanoes.
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Cut-out 3D volcano model from the British Geological Survey

Fancy your own table-top volcano? Well, with card, scissors, glue, and a little patience, you can build your own three-dimensional model of Eyjafjallajökull, courtesy of the British Geological Survey. Just print off their PDF of the component parts from the BGS website (in colour, preferably) and cut them out* and put them together according to the instructions and hey presto, your very own Eyjafjallajökull.

The model is both a cut-out and a cut-away, as it is designed to reveal the volcano’s inner workings in schematic form, and it comes complete with ash-laden plume. The BGS website says the model is ‘intended as a simple guide to understanding how volcanoes such as Eyjafjallajökull are influenced by tectonic plate activity along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge’.

* When it comes to the cutting out, ‘you may need to get an adult to help you’.

Other model volcanoes: John Seach’s baking soda volcano; a USGS-approved paper volcano; a really explosive model volcano; several different model volcanoes in a range of materials; some artificial volcanoes for the home, several of them highly dangerous.

The Volcanism Blog

Brief blowing of own trumpet 21 April 2010

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The Eyjafjallajökull eruption has brought lots of visitors and quite a bit of attention to the Volcanism Blog: welcome, and thank you, to all who have visited and who have linked to our content. Thursday 15 April 2010 brought our highest-ever number of visitors: 20,605. That’s more than three times more than came to the blog at the time of the Mount Redoubt eruption a year ago, our previous one-day record. We are currently averaging something over 5,000 visitors per day.

The Volcanism Blog has been linked from some interesting places, including two articles at the Christian Science Monitor, while yesterday we were featured in the ‘Freshly Pressed’ showcase on the WordPress homepage. And also yesterday (proving that all the real volcanologists were busy) I was interviewed on Bloomberg Radio’s ‘Surveillance’ program: the podcast is available here, but I think you need to subscribe, as in pay up, to hear the whole thing. Finally, I’ll be talking volcanoes on a forthcoming edition of the brilliant Shift-Run-Stop podcast – more news on that shortly.

UPDATE. It’s really great to see our Saturday Volcano Art feature getting a mention on Jonathan Jones’s art blog at The Guardian: Explosive art: my top five volcano paintings. The work of art in question is Frederic Edwin Church’s 1862 painting of Cotopaxi (although as it happens the other four artworks mentioned have been featured here as well).

The Volcanism Blog

Blog housekeeping: images and e-mails 18 April 2010

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The image hosting problem should be sorted out over the next couple of days: thanks to everyone who has made suggestions and especially to those who have very generously offered hosting space. I shouldn’t need to take up those offers now, but I am very grateful.

I’ve been having problems with the volcanismblog@btinternet.com e-mail address over the past week or so – messages that should have arrived days ago are only gradually trickling in, while others seem to have disappeared into thin air. Please accept my apologies if you have e-mailed me at this address recently and have yet to receive a reply. Everything seems to have been OK until 11 April 2010: as far as I can see it is only messages sent on or after 11 April that have been held up (and not all of them). I will try to respond to delayed messages as they come in, but if you have written to that address and have heard nothing back please do feel free to re-send your messages.

Finally, thank you to the generous souls who have made donations via PayPal over the last few days. It’s very much appreciated!

The Volcanism Blog

Image problem 15 April 2010

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Events in Iceland are currently bringing loads of new visitors here, which is great but which puts pressure on the Photobucket free image hosting service we use at this blog. When Photobucket feels under pressure images temporarily disappear. If you’ve noticed missing pictures on some of the posts, that’s the reason.

Sorry about that. There is a solution: if you like this blog and want to see it thrive put your hands in your pockets and cough up some cash, so that we can leave the constraints of free image hosting services behind.

The Volcanism Blog

Easter Break for The Volcanism Blog 2 April 2010

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Isla de Pascua in the morning (copyright Steffen Dubouis, Creative Commons licensed)

The Volcanism Blog will be away for Easter until (probably) 8 April; in the meantime you can as ever keep up with volcanic developments at Dr Erik Klemetti’s Eruptions blog.

The picture is of Volcán Poike, a shield volcano on Isla de Pascua – Easter Island. This picture is copyright Steffen Dubouis and comes from Flickr. It is reproduced here under the terms of the applicable Creative Commons licence.

Happy Easter and Happy Holidays to all our readers.

The Volcanism Blog

Blogger sick, back soon 11 March 2010

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I’ve been laid low by some kind of stomach bug sicky flu type thing, hence the recent lack of activity around here. The world’s volcanoes will have to look after themselves for a bit until I’m recovered. Apologies.

(In the meantime you are recommended to visit Eruptions for the latest in volcanic events and analysis.)

The Volcanism Blog