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7 October 2019
More than 100 volcanoes pimple the adolescent skin of Alaska, spreading from ear to ear. Some are loud, flamboyant and obnoxious. Others are sneaky and quiet, escaping notice until a pilot sees a gray plume that wasn’t there yesterday.
5 August 2019
Hundreds of volcanoes pockmark the surface of Io, the third largest of Jupiter’s 78 known moons, and the only body in our solar system other than Earth where widespread volcanism can be observed. A new study finds Io’s most powerful, persistent volcano, Loki Patera, brightens on a similar timescale to slight perturbations in Io’s orbit caused by Jupiter’s other moons, which repeat on an approximately 500-Earth-day cycle.
28 November 2018
Scientists have developed an automated early warning system for volcanic eruptions, according to a new study. The new system helped government officials warn the public of impending eruptions in Italy and could potentially do the same around the globe, according to the study’s authors. The new research details the new system that monitors volcanic noises and automatically alerts officials if an eruption is imminent. The study’s authors tested this system over a period of eight years on Mount Etna, a volcano on the island of Sicily. Using the new system, the Italian government activated an emergency plan about one hour prior to an eruption for the first time in late 2015.
2 February 2018
In the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to help run several “tabletop” exercises with the USGS and our partners where we walk through a timeline of what might happen during a volcanic eruption, and ask participants to make decisions about how they would need to respond and work together. I find them both fascinating and exhausting.
15 December 2017
Scientists have never directly observed magma beneath the Earth’s surface. But thanks to the discovery of easily accessible magma chambers, it may now be possible, report scientists at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans.
22 September 2017
Every four years, the volcanological community gets together somewhere in the world to spend a week (or two) talking about…you guessed it, volcanoes. And because volcanology – like any ‘disaster science’ – occupies a special intersection of geologic processes and human impacts, there is an inherent social science aspect in its practice.
28 September 2016
If you’re a volcanologist – or really any geology buff who appreciates volcanoes – Iceland is flat-out paradise.
12 July 2016
A long-dormant volcano outside Italy’s capital is entering a new eruptive cycle, a recently published study finds. Scientists previously assumed Colli Albani, a 15-kilometer (9-mile) semicircle of hills outside Rome, was an extinct volcano. But in recent years, scientists have observed new steam vents, earthquakes and a rise in ground level in the hills and surrounding area.
19 April 2016
It’s not very often that I comment on news articles, but a reader of the blog recently brought this one to my attention, and it hits close to home. The article is in the Washington Post’s Travel section and is entitled, “In Guatemala, a treacherous hike to one of the world’s most active volcanoes”. That title pretty much covers why I’m so upset – and conflicted – about the author of the piece is writing about.
26 February 2016
My father and I share a habit: we tend to point out and grumble over certain catchphrases we hear or read in a news report, mostly because they’re misused, overused, or just plain don’t make sense. He dislikes things such as “address the issue” or “touch base” or “spearhead”. Me? I make faces when I hear Earth science terms getting co-opted.