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Posts tagged "volcano"


Citizen Scientists Save Lives

Citizen scientists are saving the lives of people living in the shadow of deadly volcanoes according to new research from the Univ. of East Anglia.

A report, published today in the Journal of Applied Volcanology, reveals the success of a volunteer group set up to safeguard communities around the “Throat of Fire” Tungurahua volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. More than 600 million people live close to active volcanoes worldwide. The research shows that living safely in these dangerous areas can depend on effective communication and collaboration between volcanologists, risk managers and vulnerable communities.

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photos by sverrir thorolfsson of the 2010 eruptions of eyjafjallajökull and the fallout from the four and half kilometre high plume that settled on the greenery around skogafoss waterfall. (more iceland and volcano posts)


#EarthDay: Mount Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano situated in the Virunga Mountains of the Albertine Rift inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The volcano has an elevation of 3,470 m (11,385 ft).

The main crater is about two km wide and usually contains a lava lake (see photo) that has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably. Not much is known about how long the volcano has been erupting, but since 1882, it has erupted at least 34 times with the two most recent eruptions occurring in 1977 and 2002, both resulting in destruction of nearby human habitats and loss of lives, mostly due to asphyxiation by carbon dioxide.

Activity at Nyiragongo is ongoing, but currently confined to the crater.

Nyiragongo and nearby Nyamuragira are together responsible for 40% of Africa’s historical volcanic eruptions.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to a total of five different active and extinct volcanoes.


Lava lake in Halema’uma’u Crater on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano

This thermal image sequence (created  by the USGS) shows the typical motion of the lava lake in Halema’uma’u Crater on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. You can see how the top, cooler layer of crust constantly forms new patterns as the lava churns.

One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Kilauea is a shield-type volcano that rises 4,190 feet (1,227 meters) above sea level.

The video clip is 30x faster than real time.

  • At the top of the screen, lava is upwelling along the northern edge of the lava lake. 
  • As the crust slowly migrates toward the southern edge, it sinks back into the magmatic system making it look like the lava is just about to burst out from the volcano.
  • As the lake surface migrates through lava movement, numerous thin plates of crust split, merge and change shape.

Via LiveScience

Largest Volcano on Earth Lurks Beneath Pacific Ocean

The world’s largest volcano lurks beneath the Pacific Ocean, researchers announced today (Sept. 5) in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Image 1: A 3D map of Tamu Massif, the world’s biggest volcano. Credit: William Sage

Image 2: Tamu Massif on Shatsky Rise in the northwest Pacific Ocean, compared in size to Olympus Mons on Mars. Credit: William Sage

Called the Tamu Massif, the enormous mound dwarfs the previous record holder, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, and is only 25 percent smaller than Olympus Mons on Mars, the biggest volcano in Earth’s solar system, said William Sager, lead study author and a geologist at the University of Houston.

"We think this is a class of volcano that hasn’t been recognized before," Sager said. "The slopes are very shallow. If you were standing on this thing, you would have a difficult time telling which way was downhill."

Tamu is 400 miles (650 kilometers) wide but only about 2.5 miles (4 km) tall. It erupted for a few million years during the early Cretaceous period, about 144 million years ago, and has been extinct since then, the researchers report.


Volcanic Lightning

Image by Martin Rietze

It is thought that friction between particles and gases cause potential differences that create the lightning displays. [**]



Starting at Kalapana, Hawaii I walked for two hours right to the place on the coast where active lava flows were touching the ocean.

I was overwhelmed about the scene: Hot air touched my face as I stood at the edge of the cliff, steam drifted away by the strong wind, thunders in my ears as the waves crushed on the melted stones and water fought with fire.

I stood and watched the lava flows started to glow as it became darker. I wanted to express what happened there. All four elements – water, fire, air and earth came together at that point to show how they’re playing the game.Jennifer Vahlbruch

(via afro-dominicano)


Satellites could help predict volcano eruptions
New research shows volcanoes “inflating” prior to erupting, a change that could be detected from space.


SEM image provided by A.M. Sarna-Wojcicki. Close view of a single ash particle from the eruption of Mount St. Helens; image is from a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The tiny voids or “holes” are called vesicles and were created by expanding gas bubbles during the eruption of magma.

(via afro-dominicano)


Volcano Road to The Milky Way

The Milky Way seen from the volcano road in Reunion Island.


The volcanoes of the South Sandwich Islands, located in the South Atlantic, have a notable effect on cloud formation in this satellite photo. Visokoi Island, on the right, sheds a wake of large vortices that distort the cloud layer above it.  On the left, Zavodovski Island’s volcano does the same, with the added effect of low-level volcanic emissions, which include aerosols. These tiny particles provide a nucleus around which water droplets form, causing an marked increase in cloud formation visible in the bright tail streaming off the island. (Photo credit: NASA, via Earth Observatory)


Hallasan Startrails

In a moonlit winter night of Jeju Island of South Korea, stars trail over Mount Halla (or Hallasan), a shield volcano which is the highest mountain of the country reaching about 2000 meters high.


How volcanic eruptions could damage the ozone layer
Volcanoes release bromine and chlorine when they erupt, and those chemicals can have a disastrous effect on the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.


Underwater volcano offered warnings ahead of eruption
Using robot submarines and underwater microphones, researchers can monitor sound waves and hydrothermal vents for volcanic activity.


Volcanic ash plume at Mount St. Helens. View of the giant ash cloud formed by the eruption of Mount St. Helens on 22 July 1980. This explosive event threw ash up to an altitude of 18km in the space of eight minutes. Spectacular though this was, it was a pale reflection of the major eruption of 18 May 1980 when about 3 cubic kilometres of the volcano were blown away. A lateral blast of dense, debris-filled steam clouds burst away from the volcano at speeds of up to 400 km/h, devastating more than 500 square kilometres of land. 57 people died in the first eruption, and over $1 billion of damage was done, mainly to the local lumber industry.