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Discovery’s ‘Top 10 Volcanoes in Geologic History’ 27 March 2009

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Of the making of top tens of things, there is no end. The Discovery Channel has published a ‘Top 10 Volcanoes in Geologic History’ list which is inevitably a pretty arbitrary exercise, but it is worth looking at, if only so you can argue with what’s been put in and what’s been left out. There are certainly some interesting inclusions … you can leave a comment expressing your views by going to the Discovery Earth blog.

UPDATE: Dr Erik Klemetti has seen the Discovery Channel list and is not impressed, not impressed at all. And he’s even less impressed by MSNBC’s attempt to explain ‘how and where volcanoes arise’.

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It’s a volcano quiz 26 February 2009

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Test your volcano knowledge with this two-part, 20-question Volcano Quiz at LiveScience. Score 20/20, you are a plinian eruption of volcanic genius. 15/20, your magma is rich with the gas of knowledge. 10/10, you are a weak fumarole. 5 and under, you are a Jindal.

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Mount Vesuvius at Geology.com 17 December 2008

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Jessica Ball of Magma Cum Laude has written a fine article profiling Mount Vesuvius for Geology.com, clearly and concisesly discussing its geological context, eruption history, hazard potential and more. Excellent use of illustrations as well.

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Chaitén video sequence, 17 June 2008 19 June 2008

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From Javier De Leonardis in Esquel, Argentina, comes this video sequence showing Chaitén erupting on 17 June 2008. The video is compiled from the images captured by the north-facing camera at Chaitén airfield. The interaction between the winds at different altitudes and the eruption plume is fascinating to watch.

Chaitén video sequence, 17 June 2008 (credit Javier De Leonardis, Esquel, Argentina)

Please note that the image above is not the video itself but a link to the video, which is hosted at PhotoBucket. I’ve no intention of encumbering this blog with embedded videos.

Grateful acknowledgements to Javier De Leonardis for this video.

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The Daily Volcano Quote: Mr Solitt’s miniature volcano 17 June 2008

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Volcanoes next came under the lecturer’s consideration. These, he said, were for the most part produced by imprisoned chemical composition which takes place below the surface of the earth. An artificial volcano might be made by mixing together 20 or 30 pounds of iron filings with as much sulphur, and making it into paste with water. This being buried in the earth would in a few hours burst forth into flames, and resemble a volcano in miniature.

‘Literary and Philosophical Society: Mr. Solitt’s last lecture’, The Hull Packet and East Riding Times, 9 February 1849, p. 3.

The Daily Volcano Quote: from Monday to Friday, a new eruption of volcanic verbiage each day.

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The Daily Volcano Quote: Athanasius Kircher 16 June 2008

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That there are Subterraneous Conservatories, and Treasuries of Fire (even as well, as there are of Water, and Air, &c.) and vast Abysses, and bottomless Gulphs in the Bowels and very Entrals of the Earth, stored therewith, no sober Philosopher can deny; If he do but consider the prodigious Vulcano’s, or fire-belching Mountains; the eruptions of sulphurous fires not only out of the Earth, but also out of the very Sea; the multitude and variety of hot Baths every where occurring. And that they have their sourse and birth-place, not in the Air, not in the Water; nay, nor as the Vulgar perswade themselves, not at the bottom of the Mountains; but in the very in-most privy-Chambers, and retiring places of the Earth, is as reasonable to think; And there Vulcan, as it were, to have his Elaboratories, Shops, and Forges in the profoundest Bowels of Nature.

Athanasius Kircher, The vulcano’s, or, Burning and fire-vomiting mountains, famous in the world, with their remarkables collected for the most part out of Kircher’s Subterraneous world, and exposed to more general view in English (London: John Allen, 1669), p. 1.

The Daily Volcano Quote: from Monday to Friday, a new eruption of volcanic verbiage each day.

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The view from Chaitén 14 June 2008

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This is the scene at Chaitén as captured by the north-facing camera at the town’s airfield today, 14 June 2008, at 18:02:26 local time. The image comes via the Chilean civil aviation authority’s ‘Cámaras para todas las zonas’ page, listing cameras at various airfields across the country, including Chaitén.

Chaitén - Cámara Norte - 14/06/2008 18-02-26

The low mass of cloud in the centre is the eruption plume from Chaitén volcano. The plume appears to be mainly water vapour, and to be dispersing in a northward direction (i.e. away from the town) at a low altitude. This accords with recent ash advisories from Buenos Aires VAAC, which report a cloud not exceeding 10000ft (3048m) altitude, blowing away to the north-east. Earlier today the cloud had been blowing to the south. The current aviation alert level for Chaitén is orange.

For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén << The Volcanism Blog

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
ONEMI, Oficina Nacional de Emergencia – Chilean government emergencies office (Spanish)
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (Spanish)

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The Daily Volcano Quote: volcanoes in Germany 13 June 2008

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It is fact, that subterraneous fire, and its many successive eruptions, have raised or heaped together the still-burning Mount Aetna and Vesuvius on the limestone-strata in Sicily and Italy, accumulating both these mountains to an elevation, and to an extent, which even surpass that of the Habichwald. It still continues to work in the volcanos in Iceland; and there is no good reason to deny the possibility of other European volcanos, situated between Iceland and Aetna, and burning in former times. There have been found of late many extinct volcanos in Italy, stampt with visible marks of ancient burning, though never spoken of in history. Why should not Germany then, as well as Italy, afford phaenomena of the same nature? The sea, which covered these parts, as many others in the continent, will not, I hope, be alledged against this supposition, and thrown upon it to quench the German volcanos; since the still-burning volcanos are generally situated in the midst of the sea, in islands, or near the sea coast, and even seem to want sea-water to raise, and to support their very flames.

R. E. Raspe, An Account of some German Volcanos, and their Productions. With a New Hypothesis of the Prismatical Basaltes; Established upon Facts (London: Lockyer Davis, 1776), pp. 24-25.

The Daily Volcano Quote: from Monday to Friday, a new eruption of volcanic verbiage each day.

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White Island, New Zealand: warning issued after quake 13 June 2008

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White Island (GeoNet image)

White Island, situated 48km offshore of North Island in the Bay of Plenty, is formed by the summit of a submarine volcano and is one of New Zealand’s most active volcanic centres. Visitors have been warned by GeoNet to keep away from the island for the next 48-72 hours following a 5.4M earthquake at 09:06 local time today. The epicentre was 10km south-west of White Island, and the depth of the quake was 5km. The earthquake was widely felt around the Bay of Plenty.

‘This morning’s earthquake was a tectonic-type earthquake, and these are common in the outer Bay of Plenty’, says the GeoNet report on the event. ‘There has been no immediate response from the volcano though the large number of aftershocks means that any seismic response may be difficult to see for several hours’. The alert level for White Island remains at level 1.

(Picture: White Island. GeoNet image.)

For all our New Zealand coverage: New Zealand << The Volcanism Blog

Information
Global Volcanism Program: White Island – summary information for White Island (0401-04=)
GeoNet – White Island – GeoNet’s information and current activity page for White Island

News
Scientists warn tourists off White Island volcano – Stuff.co.nz, 13 June 2008
Volcano warning after earthquakeMelbourne Herald-Sun, 13 June 2008
White Island visits suspended following quake – Radio New Zealand, 13 June 2008

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The Daily Volcano Quote: George Poulett Scrope 12 June 2008

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The action of a Volcano, in its simplest and most general form, may be described as, the rise of earthy substances in a liquefied state and at a high temperature, (Lava,) from beneath the outer crust of the earth; accompanied by prodigious volumes of elastic fluids, which, appearing to be evolved from the interior of the mass, burst upwards with violent successive detonations, scattering into the air, to a considerable height, numerous fragments, still in a liquid state, of the lava, through which they tear their way, together with shattered blocks of the solid pre-existing rocks, which obstructed their expansion.

George Poulett Scrope, Considerations on Volcanos, the Probable Causes of their Phenomena, the laws which Determine their March, the Disposition of their Products, and their Connexion with the Present State and Past History of the Globe; Leading to the Establishment of a New Theory of the Earth (London: W. Phillips, 1825), pp. 1-2.

The Daily Volcano Quote: from Monday to Friday, a new eruption of volcanic verbiage each day.

The Volcanism Blog