Monday Mulligans

I won’t try to recap all the news from last week, but I did notice a few articles from this weekend worth noting:

The Big Obsidian Flow at Newberry Volcano. This rhyolite lava flow erupted at ~1,300 years ago.

  • Geologists in Greece are keeping an eye on a submarine volcano called Columbus. Apparently a number of M4+ earthquakes have been reported, the sea floor has deformed and there have been “hot air eruption” (? … I am a little skeptical of the last one without more details). The article is a little fuzzy on the details: the volcano is 6.5 meters southeast of Santorini and the Santorini Group of volcanoes appeared “13 years ago” – it seems like something was lost in translation. Additionally, the GVP doesn’t have a record of any volcano named “Columbus”, but my guess is that this is a missed translation of “Colombo Bank”. In the linked article, Martin Heds mentions that “Columbus” last erupted in 1650 and “Colombo Bank”, a maar, erupted in 1650 (to the tune of a VEI 4). Why the volcano is called “smoldering” in the article title is a little beyond me.
  • In some sad news, Global Volcanism Founder and former Director Dr. Tom Simkin died late last week after a battle with cancer. I, for one, have a number of books with which he was involved, including Krakatau 1883: The Volcanic Eruption and its Effects. It is hard to overestimate the importance of the role he played in modern volcanology. He was 75.
  • One bit of news from last week was the release by the USGS HVO of some great video of the new lava lake at Kilauea in Halema’uam’a. You can never complain about an excellent video of a churning cauldron of red-hot lava (thanks to Mariek Schmidt for the link).
  • Tom Pfeiffer of Volcano Discovery offers some more eye candy of an expedition to Anak Krakatau in early June of this year. There are some great shots of the Strombolian activity from the new main crater. He adds “Anak Krakatau continues to display strong strombolian activity, often accompanied by loud blasts, from a new vent located between the old summit crater and the 2007 crater. This activity has essentially filled the 2007 crater with a new cinder cone and ‘healed’ the 2007 scar.
  • Finally, there was a nice piece on Oregon Live/The Oregonian that sums up the history of Newberry Volcano near Bend, Oregon. Newberry does tend to languish in the figurative shadow of nearby Crater Lake, but if you’re ever in the area, Newberry is well worth the trip. Craker Lake doesn’t really have anything like the Newberry’s Big Obsidian Flow.


  1. #1 Curtis
    June 15, 2009

    Keeping a seismic eye on Greece:

    Centre Sismologique Euro-Méditerranéen
    European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

  2. #2 mike don
    June 15, 2009

    Fascinating piece on Colombo. I don’t know, Erik, are there entirely submarine maars? A 470m cone with a 1.5km crater doesn’t sound like any maar I know about; oddly the proportions are like Coseguina in Nicaragua, only half the size (Coseguina: 872m cone with 2×2.4 km caldera)

    One things for sure, it’s dangerous, since the 1650 eruption caused fatalities on Thera (“gas”???)

  3. #3 Marc
    June 16, 2009

    This site: may not be up to date but there is currently no mention of any tremor in the Santorini area since May 23rd. There is a hazard zonation map via the “download” link that shows the location of Colombo in relation to Thera.

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