Wednesday Whatzits

Some brief tidbits from the volcanic realms:

Active volcanism at NW Rota-1

  • Kilauea? Explosive? You might think of Kilauea as a volcano that generates impressive Hawaiian-style eruptions with fire fountains reaching 100s m and dazzling lava flows, but Don Swanson at HVO sees evidence of a big explosive event at Kilauea. This eruption was ~1,000-1,600 years ago and may have produced a plinian-scale eruptive column and threw cm-scale chunks up to 17 km from the vent.
  • The intermingling of life and active volcanism always seems counterintuitive, but when you're talking undersea volcanism, all sorts of amazing things can happen. Bill Chadwick from Oregon State University (my doctoral alma mater) has found some remarkable biota living around NW Rota-1, an active undersea volcano in the Marianas. Included in the article is some video of critters inhabiting the area around the volcano. {hat tip to Eruptions reader Mike Don for the original article}.
  • A brief, sort of fluff piece on the town of Chaiten one year after the eruption started. It does have some good pictures of the ghost town that is left as the town is rebuilt in Santa Barbara (in spanish).
  • The NASA Earth Observatory loves catching volcanoes puffing away, and in the last week, it has seen not one, but two more Indonesia volcanoes producing ash/steam plumes: Dukono and Batu Tara.

More like this

With regards to NW Rota 1:
one of the many things that is remarkable about this volcano is how the eruptive activity is different every time it is visited. In early February on an R/V Natsushima cruise we observed that the cone had been built up with blocky material since the previous visit in 2006, as you see in the April video. But the big difference between Feb. and April is that we saw a more gentle billowing plume w/o the explosive activity observed two months later. Overall though the activity has been non-stop since the volcano was discovered, the tempo may change but the beat goes on.
One other remarkable thing, there is no evidence at all on the surface that all this activity is taking place.