Welcome to Eruptions

Welcome to version 2.0 of Eruptions, the blog on volcanic eruptions and volcano research in general. I’ve been writing this blog (starting over on WordPress) over the last year or so, but now it has found a new home here at ScienceBlogs. If you’re wondering what to expect if you’re new to Eruptions, I’ll be bringing news of volcanoes that are erupting worldwide, distilling the scientific jargon, dispelling the misinformation and commenting on what the effects of the eruption(s) might be. I’ll also try to bring in any volcanoes in the popular media that gets my attention (alas, it has been almost 15 years since Hollywood’s brief fixation with volcanoes that brought us Dante’s Peak and Volcano), along with current research on the phenomenon of volcanic eruptions and magmas within the Earth. When things get quiet – volcanically speaking – I’ll continue rolling out volcano profiles as well.

Who am I to bring you this? Well, a geologist, for one. A geologist who happens to study volcanoes. I’m not a physical volcanologist – one who studies the physical processes that go on during an eruption, such as ash fall, pyroclastic flows or lahars – but rather I study the magmas that drive volcanism. Specifically (for those of you who enjoy the gory details), I study the crystals in magma. Pick up almost any volcanic rock and if you look at it close enough, you’ll see crystals in it (except obsidian … it is volcanic, but usually is entirely glass). These crystals contain a treasure-trove of age, compositional and thermal information about the magma in which the crystals found themselves. I try to extract that information through microanalysis – examining the crystals on the micron, or .0001 cm, scale – and dating using radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and radium. If you’re really curious about what I do, check out my research.

So, sit back and enjoy the volcanic action.


  1. #1 Erin
    March 13, 2009

    Dante’s Peak was really 15 years ago?! Damn.

    Don’t let the medical bloggers hear you talking about crystals 😉


  2. #2 Laelaps
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome, Erik!

  3. #3 Dave Bacon
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome to Scienceblogs Erik. I grew up beside a beautiful volcano, Mt. Shasta, and look forward to learning more (and wondering if the last century of “quiet” in the Cascades is going to continue.)

  4. #4 Chris Rowan
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome! I’m quite liking the current trend in the new recruits: more rocks, less squishy things.

  5. #5 ScienceWoman
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome Erik! Looking forward to more great blogging from you.

  6. #6 Kim
    March 13, 2009

    Yay! Welcome, Erik! I love your old blog, and I’m glad to see you here.

  7. #7 Callan Bentley
    March 13, 2009

    Erik, Congrats on the move!

  8. #8 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome, dude!

  9. #9 M
    March 13, 2009


  10. #10 Max
    March 13, 2009

    More gory details!

    Oh, and welcome.

  11. #11 Frank the SciencePunk
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome, & hooray for volcanoes!

  12. #12 Larry Ayers
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome, and why don’t you tell us about the photo?

  13. #13 The Volcanism Blog
    March 13, 2009

    Congratulations, Erik! ScienceBlogs gets more geologically impressive every day, and it’s great to see volcanoes getting the attention they deserve. Happy ScienceBlogging! – Ralph

  14. #14 Erik
    March 13, 2009

    Well thanks all. As for the picture, its a photo of a volcano erupting through a glacier on Iceland. This one here is Grimsvotn (one of my favorite volcano names) erupting through Vatnajokull.

  15. #15 PalMD
    March 13, 2009

    I’m very happy to have you around, even if Bobby Jindal hates you.

    BTW, i want the code for your comments template…it numbers them so pretty-like.

  16. #16 Alison Koleszar
    March 13, 2009

    Congrats on the new blog, Erik! I hope you don’t mind that I’ve passed along this URL to the VIPER group 🙂

  17. #17 DDeden
    March 13, 2009

    ‘Crystal mush’, better than cold oatmeal!

  18. #18 Tara Smith
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome Erik!

  19. #19 Juniper Shoemaker
    March 13, 2009

    Yay! Now there’s someone around to give us a real head start just before the Yellowstone “supervolcano” kills us all. Beat that, unabashedly fearmongering Discovery Channel!

  20. #20 Lyr
    March 13, 2009

    Looks like a very cool blog!

  21. #21 Silver Fox
    March 13, 2009

    Congrats on your blog move!

  22. #22 Zuska
    March 13, 2009

    Welcome to the Borg, newest Sciblng!

  23. #23 Isis the Scientist
    March 14, 2009

    Welcome to the family, Scibling!

  24. #24 blf
    March 14, 2009

    Velcome! (Vell, it iv all abovt volcanoes…)

  25. #25 DrugMonkey
    March 14, 2009

    Welcome, volcano d00d! Looking forwardto getting to know your old blog and to new stuff as well. (but if you hate on obsidian…’s ON!)

  26. #26 BrianR
    March 14, 2009

    cool … congrats on the move

  27. #27 Jennifer Glass
    March 14, 2009

    Hi Erik! Great to see you on ScienceBlogs. I haven’t started a blog yet but I read many of them and am excited to add Eruptions to my GoogleReader. Apparently there was just a segment on this week’s CarTalk about how to prepare your car for an eruption, including how to protect your engine by putting panty hose over your air intake system. 🙂 (This was in response to a caller from Alaska who lives near a volcano that is about to erupt… Which one is that?)

  28. #28 Doug
    March 14, 2009

    Hi Erik, in one of your ealier postings you mentioned having attended the UW. Curious what years you were there. I was in the materials engineering department (Ceramics) from 74 (off and on) to 80 and learned just a bit about crystallization and phase change.

    cheers, and good luck with the Science blog community

  29. #29 ekoh
    March 15, 2009

    Keep up the good fight for real geology!

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