Volcanology basics

Eruptions

Category archives for Volcanology basics

Continuing my series where I try to define words of volcanic interest, the new Eruptions Word of the Day is a favorite of mine, mostly because my undergraduate thesis on Vinalhaven Island in Maine ended up dealing with a lot of these types of deposits … so, without further ado, the word is peperite! Now,…

Lava flows from Kilauea in Hawai`i move towards a home in Kalapana. Whenever I think about the hazards posed by most lava flows, I tend to think about the opening scene in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Developers are planning to knock our hero Arthur Dent’s house down and as a last ditch effort…

Climate, volcanism and the Andes

The northern Chilean and southern Peruvian Andes are full of volcanoes that look stunning – I mean, jaw-dropping details of volcanism litter the landscape. The reason for this is two fold: (1) there is an awful lot of volcanism in the northern Chilean/southern Peruvian Andes (as known as the Central Volcanic Zone) – and has…

Tourists hiking next to an active lava flow on Pacaya in Guatemala in 2006. I’m flying back to Ohio today after a successful few weeks of fieldwork/paper writing. Apparently I have a pile of tomatoes waiting in our garden in Granville … ! On to news: To go with the news that lava flows from…

Kilauea lavas on the move near Kalapana. Image taken July 17, courtesy of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Some news over the last few days: The lava flows from Kilauea are moving with a vengeance right now, damaging roads and heading for some structures. The lava flows near Kalapana have moved almost 200 meters since Sunday,…

Eruptions Word of the Day: Tuya

The latest Eruptions Word of the Day is “Tuya“. So, what is a tuya? This is a tuya: A tuya! Click on the image to see a larger version. Image by Erik Klemetti. Alright, well, that doesn’t entirely help, does it? Lets look at the feature the arrow indicates. Some observations: (1) It is low…

So, I’ve had requests on the blog to help to do some defining of volcanologic terms on the blog, so I thought I’d try a new column called Eruptions Word of the Day. I’m not sure how often it will run, but let’s give it a try. Eruptions Word of the Day for July 5,…

The ash plume from Eyjafjallajökull, piercing the cloud deck above the volcano. Image courtesy of the Icelandic Met Office, taken on May 13, 2010. See the latest report on the eruption. With all the rapid fire news on eruptions as of late, combined with my busy schedule during the school year, I haven’t been able…

The eruption at Eyjafjallajökull-Fimmvörduháls continues on – the explosive spatter and bomb eruptions at the new central vent (on the second fissure) were impressive all night, making the hikers/cars/aircraft look like mites in comparison. This eruption has, so far, followed the pattern of Hawaiian-style volcanism quite well, so I thought it could be a good…

Coulées!

As a volcanologist, I am partial to impressive lava flows, especially in volcanoes that erupt material that you’d think wouldn’t produce big flows. For example, there are quite a few volcanoes in the Chilean Andes that erupt dacite lavas, which are relatively viscous (sticky), so you might expect it to erupt explosively. However, you can…