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Guest Thinkers

Friday Flotsam

A veritable treasure trove of volcanic tidbits, including new undersea eruptions discovered, the end of the eruption in the Galapagos, more Aleutian noise, an excellent interactive of Indonesian volcanism and boarding down an active volcanism (a.k.a., thinning the gene pool).

Things are busy – both volcanically and personally – so I’m going to just give you some links to a bunch of exciting/interesting/insane news:

West Mata erupting on May 5, 2009 in the Lau Basin.

  • According to a bunch of news sources, the eruption at Fernandina in the Galapagos is over (in spanish). That being said, the PNG noted that there is still a lot of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide being emitted, suggesting there is still a lot of degassing magma beneath the vents – at what depth (and will it erupt) is the question.
  • There is a lot of speculation that Nyiragongo (DRC) is erupting or will erupt very soon. The other day it seemed that it was already in action, but other reports suggest that so far, all we have is intense tremor and fumarolic activity and “pools of lava”… so, that actually sounds like an eruption. The biggest threat here would be to the city of Goma, which has a population of nearly half a million.
  • Eruptions reader Graham noticed that things are beginning to pick up at Veniaminof in the Aleutians. Nothing more than increased seismicity so far, but definitely something to keep an eye on in the coming days. Veni has had a number of small eruptions over the last few years.
  • Eruptions reader Bruce Stout left a great resource link as a comment yesterday, but I thought it deserved to be in a post itself: an interactive map of the active volcanoes of Indonesia. The information here rivals the GVP in terms of Indonesian volcanoes – great what you (well, Bruce) can find on the web sometimes.
  • Two of my former colleagues – Ed Kohut (OSU) and Beth Dushman (UC Davis) – sent me links about the recently discovered ongoing submarine eruption in the Lau Basin near the Mariana Islands. The volcano in question is called West Mata (not even listed in the GVP) and the scientists on the dive (from Woods Hole) has seen “pillow lavas, pyroclastic (magmatic gas breaks apart the lava) and phreatic (lava flows over water which turns into steam which breaks apart the rock) events.” Lots of great images and descriptions on the blog for that research cruise.
  • Eruptions reader Anne Cotton sent me a link for a somewhat questionable new sport: boarding down an active volcano. Specifically, the volcano in question is Cerro Negro in Nicaragua. I’ll leave it to you, the readers, to decide if climbing up – and hurtling down – an actively erupting volcano is, well, a good idea (although apparently 10,000 people have done it already.)

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