Friday Flotsam: the cost of Vesuvius erupting, dome collapse at Colima and the deepest volcanic vents

Hard to believe, but there is other volcano-related news in the world ...

So, with all deference to Eyjafjallajokull, here it is:

Dome collapse on Colima in Mexico, image taken March 30, 2010.

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I guess insurance companies live by calculating and ranking risk, but there is no accurate way to determine that a Vesuvius eruption would cause more damage than one from the Campei Flegrei system. Sorta like arguing whether its worse to land on land or water after falling 30,000 feet.

If you were not already here, SciBorg would have to invent you.

Thanks, thanks.

By ThirtyFiveUp (not verified) on 16 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oddly enough, considering the media uproar last month over it, Marsili did not make the list, which does include 3 volcanoes in the Caribbean, 3 in the Azores, and 1 in Iceland (see "Marketwatch" article on this at .) The other listed volcano that's actually on the contiguous European land mass is Etna.

As for 30,000-plus-foot falls, a good argument has been made that it's better to aim for land than water; this is what one should read on the way down before making the decision:

yes, but you can make a good estimate of how many people and how much stuff is exposed to the potential effects of an eruption and then devise rational plans to minimize the damage from the more likely eruptive scenarios. Which could be more useful for some than arguing about splat sizes.

KLIUCHEVSKOI Central Kamchatka, is puffing away again.

Another reasonably large earthquake has occurred on the Aleutian Chain today, approximately same mag (mid-5 mag) and location as this time yesterday. Something is up, although AVO is not reporting seismic activity at Shishaldin.

Boris will be happy, Etna comes in at #4, she deserves respect that old lady (Vulcano #12 and Stromboli #13 also make the list). And you have to say that Eyjaf is in good company since Helca is #9 and Katla #15. In the mining business this is known as a 'good address'.

I would like to point out that there has been absolutely no new dome growth at Soufrière Hills Volcano since the partial collapse event on 11 February 2010. The multiple small areas of incandescence observed on the volcano are located within the collapse scar. They are related to ongoing fumarole activity and fractures in the scar headwall.

Not just St. Helens, a lot of other notorious eruptions have their, err, "birthdays" coming up in the next few weeks; El Chichon, Pelee 1902 (and St Vincent the same year), Pagan 1982, Chaiten of course; and the Big One, Tambora 1815, 195 years ago on May 10. Not as catchy an anniversary as 30 years, true.

(annoyingly, the Iceland eruption got going just as my internet connection went belly-up, so I haven't been able to join in..I'm at an internet cafe today)

In honor of the St. Helens anniversary, I'd heartily recommend a reading, between now and May 18th, of the book "Volcano Cowboys: The Rocky Evolution of a Dangerous Science" by Dick Thompson. It's not a brand-new book (2002), but it really shows how that 1980 eruption got things going with the development of the USGS volcano observatories. It discusses other eruptions, too--most notably Mount Pinatubo, but others as well--as it shows the development of modern volcanology. I found it in the local library but there is a preview of it on Google Books, and it is still for sale at Amazon and elsewhere. Excellent!