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Friday Flotsam: Kilauea continues to flow, volcano tourism worldwide and a refined geologic timescale

Kilauea continues its active summer, the USGS refines the geologic timescale and the new boon in volcano tourism.


Tourists hiking next to an active lava flow on Pacaya in Guatemala in 2006.


I’m flying back to Ohio today after a successful few weeks of fieldwork/paper writing. Apparently I have a pile of tomatoes waiting in our garden in Granville … !

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On to news:

  • To go with the news that lava flows from Kilauea creep ever closer to structures in Kalapana, the NASA Earth Observatory posts its first volcano image in a bit. The shot shows the steam-and-gas plume from the Halema`uma`u Crater in Kilauea’s summit caldera. You can also see some video of the lava flows near Kalapana as they move along the road.
  • Want the latest geologic timescale – at least the one used by the USGS? Well, you can download USGS Fact Sheet 2010-3059, which sets out the latest definitions and corrections for the geologic timescale. It is the first update since 2007, where new fossil correlations and dating of rocks allows for refining of the boundaries between the epochs, ages and periods. It is a must for any true geophile.
  • Three articles I found recently tackle volcano tourism – the plusses and minuses – in Java (Indonesia), Guatemala and the Congo. The volcanoes in both countries are relatively easy to approach, but are still very dangerous. This is especially true for people trying to visit Pacaya as officials in Guatemala are reporting an increase in seismic activity at the volcano that erupted earlier this year.

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