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Guest Thinkers

Wednesday Whatzits

Shots of the lava lake at Nyiragongo, explosions at Ubinas and Yellowstone, another volcano in Indonesia goes on higher alert and earthquakes swarms galore!

You’ll have to excuse the curtness of this post. An bad hop in softball will do that to you.


Here’s some news:

Mt. Dempo in Indonesia

  • Xinhua offers some nice pictures of the current activity going on at the summit crater at Nyiragongo in the Congo. Note the partially-crusted-over lava lake in the first shot. The Red Cross is updating the evacuation and mitigation plans for the area as the volcano shows increased activity.
  • The alert level at Mt. Dempo in Indonesia was raised to the second highest level. There has been ash fall (as far as 10 km from the vent) and volcanic gas emissions. The volcano had experienced a phreatic explosion (water-magma explosions) in early January. The volcano also has a crater lake at the summit.
  • Yellowstone put on a bit of a show for participants of the EarthScope meeting. While visiting Biscuit Basin, they barely missed getting involved (in a bad way) in a 10-second hydrothermal explosion that threw boiling water and debris, but luckily caused no damage/injures. Hydrothermal explosions like these are relatively common in the hydrothermal basins at Yellowstone.
  • In the briefest of brief notes, there were three explosions at Ubinas (in spanish) in Peru yesterday. The explosions produced an kilometer-tall ash column, but no injuries were reported. Local authorities distributed masks to protect people from ash inhalation.
  • There has been a lot of chatter this morning about more earthquakes in Saudi Arabia. From what I can gather, the larger earthquake that occurred earlier today was well to the north (in southern Iran) of the Harrat Lunayyir earthquake swarm and almost 100% unrelated.
  • Some folks have also mentioned that there has been an earthquake swarm near the Long Valley Caldera in California. I took a look and most of the activity is well south of the Caldera, and even the earthquakes closer to Long Valley look to be more associated with the faults on the west side of the valley rather than magmatism.

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