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.

More like this

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

Don't let the medical bloggers hear you talking about crystals ;)


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.)

More gory details!

Oh, and welcome.

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

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.

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.

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

By Alison Koleszar (not verified) on 13 Mar 2009 #permalink

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!

Looks like a very cool blog!

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

By DrugMonkey (not verified) on 14 Mar 2009 #permalink

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?)

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

Keep up the good fight for real geology!