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Wednesday Whatzits: Haiti, Tungurahua erupts, Martian lava flows and a pile of updates

Updates on Mayon, Turrialba and Nyamuragira, news of an eruption in Ecuador and a round up of NASA images of the past week.

Somehow I haven’t posted a bunch of interesting items collected over the last few weeks, so I need to catch up. A pre-emptive hat tip to everyone who has sent me links or notes that might seem familiar in this post.

Tungurahua in Ecuador erupting in 2000.

  • First off, those of you looking for information on the Haitian earthquake that devastated the capitol Port Au Prince, Highly Allochthonous has post on the tectonics of the quake. Right now, it is hard for me to come up with a worse location in terms of devastation for a quake to have hit in the Caribbean Basin.
  • Back in volcano news, a lot of the eruptions that were in the news last week have settled down – or at least stayed the same. PHIVOLCS lowered the alert at Mayon to Level 2 (from 3) based on the reduced seismicity and volcanic gas emissions – but they offered the usual caveat that the volcano may go back up to 3 at any moment. Meanwhile, Turrialba in Costa Rica continues to give off copious gas emissions but no repeat of the explosions from last week. There is a report by OVSICORI on the changes in the crater (albeit as a PDF in Spanish). Nyamuragira also continues to erupt, but the eruption is diminishing, with lava flows reaching down the slopes but still within the Virunga National Park.
  • We had been hearing rumblings that Tungurahua in Ecuador was coming back to life and overnight the volcano erupted. The volcano had already been experiencing explosions and earthquakes, but this eruption produced a 3 km / ~10,000 foot ash column along with reports of lava at the summit. No one was injured in the eruption.
  • The NASA Earth Observatory has posted a number of great images over the last couple of weeks, including the plume (and tephra deposits) of the Gaua eruption in Vanuatu and a stunner of a shot taken above Soufriere Hills, showing all the new pyroclastic deposits formed since the volcano made a comeback this fall.
  • If you’re looking for extraterrestrial volcanism, NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team posted an image of lava flows in the Athabasca Valles. The shot shows evidence of phreatic cones (eruptions with a large water component) along with 100 meter deep lava flows.

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