Volcano Café

Chapter 1 Welcome to Volcanocafe (written by Carl when he started the blog in November 2011)
Chapter 2 Rules
Chapter 3 List of Dragons
Chapter 4 HELP  How to find your way around, what useful things can be found where!
Chapter 5 Explanation of the menu

Chapter 1

Photographer Amcaja, released under GNU. Living under a large volcano can be scary sometimes. I have a vacation home next to this 4115 metre baby. It is Mount Fako (Cameroon), the volcano last erupted with a VEI-2 in the year 2000.

Hello everyone!

Starting a new blog is an audacious and scary project. First of all begs the question, what is it all going to be about? This question was the easiest to answer since my interests are volcanoes, tectonics, and geology in the broadest aspect possible. The blogs that are already about in this field are mainly technical and written by expert volcanologists, or geophysicists that write about tectonics and earthquakes.

Among those I have two favorite blogs; one is Dr. Erik Klemettis Eruptions over at Wired Science, http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/eruptions. I would advise anyone interested in things magmatic and volcanic to follow him too. If you are addicted to earthquakes I would like to point to Armand Vervaeck et al, and the ever interesting Earthquake Report, http://earthquake-report.com. The links to those two blogs will be plastered on the side bar of this blog for easy access as soon as I figure out how to do it (most likely someone will have to do it for me).
Why then start a new blog if there are already two outstanding blogs in their respective fields? Well, I think there is more to the story than the technical stuff. The effects of volcanoes and earthquakes are larger than that; they after all affect real human beings, often in tragic ways. So I think that a bit of sociological aspect should be added to the technical issues. They also affect biological systems, so expect some nice posts about biology in and around volcanoes. On top of that we have geology; after all we are talking about the odd world of rocks folks. Also, if we are lucky there will be a bit about risk management and how the scientists work to save lives. And without making any promises, I am hoping that we can snare a volcanologist to give a couple of guest blogs, more on this as that unfolds.

My personal motto is “Nobody is an Island alone”, Erik go at it alone, Armand does it as a group effort. I am a friend of group efforts, they are most often not as stringent as the “man alone” blogs, but in multitude lays strength and diversity. So if you feel that you have a perspective to add to the combined story. Please feel free to put in a suggestion about what you can add to the blog, either as a guest-blogger, or as a permanent blogger. Just remember that different bloggers will have different ways of writing. There are also those that quietly help out with other things in here. I will leave it up to them to do their own presentations. I will though mention the quit help of Ursula who set up this place for us.

Photographer Peter Hamel, released under PD-USGov-NPS. Who could believe that this is the sight of 15 cubc kilometres of magma being released? Novarupta, Valley of ten thousand smokes.

A short note about me and my interest in volcanoes, it all started when I was about 7 and I found a book on volcanoes. I started reading and found an article about Novarupta Eruption in Katmai back in 1912. In a way it shows that young boys are easily impressed by big numbers, after all Novarupta was the largest eruption during the twentieth century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novarupta

A short note about me would perhaps be in place. I am using Carl le Strange as a nom de guerre. I have a background as a music major (composition), and then realized that I prefer to listen to other peoples music, so I went back to my love of understanding things. After a major in theoretical physics I started working in the military industry at the same time as I did my Ph.D. I think that was more common back then, than it is today. When I was done with my studies (complete with a side trip into another major in literature) I got into the Energy sector, where I stayed for quite some time in various capacities.

Personally I will start with writing posts about all active volcanoes in Europe, starting in the next post in the far far north of Jan Mayen and Berenburg, and then slowly meander south, making ample room for other posts as it is merited and things occur in various places. As eruptions happen I will of course write a bit about them to. With European volcanoes I am afraid that I mean the lot of them, including Azores, the Canaries, and with a disturbing likelihood that I will digress at some point into African volcanoes. I sincerely hope you will like my meandering and slowly whimsical tour of the, ahem, European volcanoes.
One thing I am sure of, you will love the rest of the bloggers!

Blogs have a way of growing, and as they grow they need a bit of rules. I like simplicity. Therefore I think that a good idea would be to have a dedicated thread have a “Friday Science Bar Thread” where people can socialize freely. That way we can keep the dedicated threads nutty, friendly and a fairly on topic. I for one will not mind a few off topic posts here and there, but if a long discussion happens I think it should be moved into the Bar. Obviously insulting and derogatory comments will be removed. Scaremongering and conspirationalist comments will be removed unless they are deemed to be a question that can be answered in such a way that the commenter can be helped into a more scientific point of view. I hope this will be enough for everyone’s needs and likes. If not, feel free to comment the rules at any time. I would also urge everyone to help educate as many people as possible in the way that they feel that they can contribute.

I would here like to say thank you to those that have been quietly badgering me to start blogging about science in general, and volcanoes in specific. There was though one email that really made me decide myself. It was from a mother of 3 children who wrote about how her children and their friends had gotten interested in science due to science blog. So here goes, may the fun begin!

Chapter 2 Update Friday 13th of July 2012:
A few rules had to be written down:

  1.  If quoting from a source, give references and/or a link to where you found it.
  2. Do not quote entire pieces, pick the interesting parts only.
  3. Make a summary, or phrase it into a question so that we can have a discussion.
  4. Think about it, is this something that you wish to discuss?
  5. At all times be friendly. This is not the place for abuse or flame-wars.
  6. Any intervention by a Moderator/Dragon is to be discussed over email with the list-owner.
  7. Posting material of your own work is to give explicit permission to use the before mentioned work within the site. It is up to the will of the site owners and the editors to move or use it is subsequent postings without any further consent than the original posting by the author.

Chapter 3

List of Dragons:

El Nathan
ancalagontheblack (dfm)

Chapter 4 HELP

You already found the page with the rules and list of dragon.

Help on:

  • How to change your avatar
  • How to add a smiley
  • How to do a video from a streaming webcam
  • How to do a screenshot
  • Where to upload images
  • How to upload a video
  • Plotting for beginners

can be found in “Gems without any relation to volcanoes” to be found in the section Gems in the menu.

Information on how you can be prepared for a volcanic eruption
Icelanders do prepare for Eruptions – A personal observation Author: Islander

Chapter 5

Home: Thats the place where all new posts show up and where you end up when you only go to volcanocafe.wordpress.com. This is the most frequented place.
Welcome to Volcanocafe: was posted by Carl when the place first opened, you can find the idea behind all of this there, as well as some rules.
NEW Welcome to Volcanocafe now also contains the rules, the list of dragons, HELP and this explanation to the menu.
Dragons Hoard: Treasury got renamed

It is a drop down menu, as you see.

International treasures: gives a list of vocano observatories outside Europe. Things are being added as they come up. I am not trying to collect all avaiable links worldwide, just those were some  action is going on or is to be expected. Trying to have “all” would require checking tons of links ever so often and i just do not  have the time for this.

Archive sorted by date published: selfexplaining

Archive sorted by topic: selfexplaining. Again i am not trying to store “all” links but this was designed to help finding older posts, for whatever reason.

Wonder what Bob is up to: Gives links, and papers to monitor or understand what is going on around El Hierro better.

Wonder what is going on in Iceland: Same as above, but this time with links and papers for Iceland.

Wonder whats going on in Santorini: Here you can find links and papers if Santorini should decide to be more active again.

Italian Job: Tons of Etna webcams and links to observatories and other pages regarding volcanic action in Italy. ( This page really needs more dedicated work by me )

In case some action starts to happen in some other place, and we on VC watch it closely, another menu point will be added here, so not to overwhelm the other archive pages.
Gems: Another drop down menu, but with only 2 bars at the moment.

AlanC´s riddles: A list of Alan´s evil riddles with the winners and answers and the momentary score. This will get a secondary menu as soon as the page gets too long.

Sheepy Dalek, Name that Lava: A list with all published Name that Lava riddles, the score and the answers and more information of the different topics. This page grew 2 long and is now split up in NtL I – XX and XXI –   . More pages will be added when the need arises.

Name That Volcano(es) Answers. Just that…

Special plots page: Shows examples to very nice plots by various “artists” and gives addresses where to find the newest ones by them.

Microscopic images: Now this is my true baby. You can find SEM images from various volcanoes all sorted to a separate page. At the moment on El Hierro, Etna, Eyjafjallajökull, Grímsvötn, Kilauea, Merapi, Moubt Hood, Newberry Volcano, Novarupta, Puyehue-Cordón Caulle and the Soufrière Hills. More pages will hopefully be added when fresh ash gets sent. ( by you! ). The addresses and an introduction of the scopes and an instruction how they are used can be found on the main Microscopic images page.

If you klick Gems directly, you end upon a page with beautiful images our readers took from webcams.

Gems without any relation to volcanoes: Here you could find how to change your avatar, how to make a video or a snapshot  from a webcam, where to upload images, the links to how to do plots, or how to add a smiley and other things.


VC. projects: Posts about special projects we plan to get done on VC go in here. Like Irpsits research on the different ash layers in his backyard and the SEM images.

Library: Must-read books for volcanophiles can be found here.
Crow`s nest: Has 2 bars in the drop down menu.

Volcano webcams: selfexplaining

Auroralinks: Is here because so many on VC love to watch auroras.
OT Regulars table: OT ( Off Topic )  posts goin here. After they first appeared in Home.
Burfell Dalek BBQ: Comments on the planning of a BBQ in front of a Heklacam went in there but the meeting did not work out. Now you can arrange new meetings in here.



329 thoughts on “Volcano Café

    • I understand it’s a need. But please, please – always give us some minutes before you cancel a scaremonger. Ok? Pleeeeeease…

        • I interrupt my sleep to thank you for that. Tar and feathers fits them so well, and it’s such a delight to kick them to the moons of Saturn in a common outburst of joy.
          Shall we even attract them? Maya, Nibiru, Mardok, nuclear winter 2011/2012, CO2 riiiiiises, Mega-CME, India asks for decent salaries, equality anchored in laws all over the world, Yellowstone, Sabertooth mouse cloned from cells in poo from the burgess shales, lead singer of the red hot chilly peppers on stage wearing a t-shirt…

    • It was the first pressure release. Sure we shall also come to some more geo-related stuff if we don’t want to end up with jelly-brains. But it’s like after sitting in an economy-class seat for 8 hours – when you get up you need to take the time to stretch out your members.

  1. Sheeeeesh! I have just spent the last 7 hours working on a broadbandless PC… Husband’s day of.. He made comments about my usage of internet,,, nearly a row…much grumps… then it dawned on me .My .internet went off every time he was at his PC.. He’s just learned how to download music….Hence ,half an hour ago he switched off and… Hey Presto.. my internet connected!! What a waste of a day!!
    Oh so good to see more friendly familiar names. Time now to chill and catch up with today’s events on line.
    @ Ursula did I send my thanks for all your hard work at creating this lovely living room? Glad to see there is a comfy sofa to relax on too :)Nothing like the feminine touch in design and decor 🙂
    @ Sissel…. I will send you a message via facebook re captures from webcams. Couldn’t obviously do this today…. will definitely sort it tomorrow.

    • Diana, thanks, but it’s no problem. 🙂 I like a technical challenge and honestly, wordpress seem to got it right with their blogging system, quite easy to use. I also like the discussions in this group and I missed them over the last couple of days, so I hope it continues like this. 😀

      • Ursula, I owe you a big thank you for helping Carl set up this Volcano Cafe. I also missed all the discussions over the last couple of days. It is nice to feel free to express ones thoughts again. Funny how the trouble makers at Jon’s blog have been noticable by their absence today when there is no one left to bother. Now I have two places to visit, one serious and one fun as well as serious. Whoopee. Time to catch up on some sleep now.

    • Diana, I sent you an email message as I’m STILL a facebook dummy. Please answer by mail, then I can relax!
      And thanks for the nice joke, did you tell it here too?

  2. Before I go to bed, just a question. The seismograph for El Hierro seems to be clipping constantly now. I am surprised they haven’t resized it again, (not the best word but the best my mind will find when I am so tired) Someone suggested it could only be ‘resized’ a certain number of times. Is this true do you think and has it perhaps reached it’s maximum number of resizings?


  3. Hello all, so glad this place has been set up. Thanks Carl and Ursuala et all. Had been lurking elsewhere and was about to post for the first time ever on a blog when the ‘OTT sirens’ arrived. Had to laugh though because the nice mix of science and banter was what had drawn me there in the first place, especially some of the Icelanders post re volcano’s and folklore and other posts on the social impacts that volcanic activity can have on locals, the wildlife and flora etc. Hope to see more of that aswell as the science here.

    LOL though, as I am missing some of my central vision and I never had a problem reading through the mix of posts! And the plots/graphs/concepts, which I could not see/understand well enough (especially harmonic tremors) where always made easy to ‘digest’ by other peoples (Diana/Carl/Geo&lurking etc) intrepretations or likening of them to more ordinary everyday objects like ‘bananas’.

    ps As I am surrounded by lots of ‘baaaah bahs’ and see them from my window everyday while on the net- until my second ever post and perhaps my first ‘wise/silly’ questions- Shleep well. zzzz

  4. Hello everybody.Well, here I am and very glad to meet you again. Thanks to remember me and invite me to your new blog. You know that I am not expert in volcanology, biology or physics, but I´ll try to contribute what I can.

  5. Again I lost the internet. Has hogging all the broadband ever been cited in a divorce case? 🙂
    There is another La Restinga webcam . It’s a close up of Bob at the moment. This is also a useful page with all three cams.
    The advert I got on the first one was a holiday with Thompsons ad, when the advert finished I got a nice view of …Bob…..Then I got down to the bottom and there is another Holiday advertisement for… El Hierro.
    I know the Canary Islands rely on the tourist industry but somehow this at the moment is a bit of a waste of advertising space. Maybe they should have advertised one of the other islands.

    • El Hierro- Land of 1,001 volcanoes 🙂 I also got the Halfords ad- the one with the little girl screaming endlessly- after that I decided to put Bob on silent mode!

  6. i think you were talking to my mum 🙂 thanks to lurking geoloco una canaria and all the others who have taught me so much about volcanoes and tectonics in such a fun way

    good luck with the new blog 🙂

  7. Hi all and happy to have found you all, have been a lurker for a long time on jon’s blog beocuse it was a fun mix of facts and fun chat so im moving here to stay with the fun pepole :O) great blog Carl congratz and good luck.

      • carl – ursuala and everyone of you great people who took the time and money to put this blog together. i know i will enjoy reading and keeping up whats happening in the world volcanoes and earthquakes.

  8. Found you!!!

    Was away from blog-reading a couple of days ( real life enterferred) so I was really surprised when I came back.
    As I’m mostly in lurk-modus you won’t have missed me, but I missed you guys! Alwas brought a smile with your banter, jokes and downright sillyness at times….
    ( And now I have to follow 3 blogs!! Where to find the time??)

      • Well done Carl! Nice Blog. To make the google god like you better (so that you are more easily findable) you need to add some pages (can link in the footer and not clutter your header links) which include the privacy policy, contact us (blah blah blah) pages.

  9. Mizar here from Norway! NorthWestern part of course…I’m only an observer with typical lurking behavior, but I am an eager lurker which is able so say something hopefully useful (barks as a goose) at times when people sleep…but volcano surveillance is one of my favorite.

    Maybe some of you recognize me from the “other” blog.

  10. I am only an observer too. My interest for volcanoes did not start before my 25th birthday. I do not want to excuse this – as the world is full of interesting scientific fields. My interest was and is still bound to the various topics of literature, philosophy, history, architecture, art, astronomy and classical music. I do not claim to be an expert in all of these. Generally, I am a very silent person and I like to listen to others rather than to speak. Thus, and having my rather exotic lifestyle in mind, people often compare me with a monk. And cannot deny this totally as I’ve adopted certain attitudes from the early monastic tradition. Just to give you an example – when I built my garden, I had the model of Strabos garden in my mind. So my nom de guerre will be ‘Strabo the Shortsighted’.

    My first encounter with volcanoes happened earlier though and started by reading the letters of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, commonly known as Pliny the Younger. You know, I loved to read Pliny the Elder as a kid, because it introduced me to an unknown world, full of dangers and monstrosities. Back then I had already read Schopenhauer’s critique of Pliny the Elder and obviously was aware of the grotesqueness of some of his writings (If you have read the Naturalis historia – geography – you will know what I mean – the myriads of names and fantasy-like creatures).

    When my brother returned from Italy (I live in the south west of Germany), he brought back large pieces of Obsidian (Mount Aetna) and gave them to me. Oh the joy! Here I was – having a piece from a place where Vulcanos himself worked in his forge (which is also located on the original Vulcano Island). And there you have of course another connection to Pliny the Elder. I do not travel anymore, but holding this razor-sharp rock in my hands reminded me of the Mayan blades in the museums and it made my history studies so much more lively.

    I just wanted to thank Carl, Ursula and the regular writers here. I was in lurking mode on Jon’s blog, reading your comments and found them often very insightful. I share the notions about the atmosphere there with Carl – who later missed it. But I do not want to start a discussion on that old topic. It’s good to have this place and I will be here as a silent reader and if I have a question I know I can ask without being ridiculed. Thank you.

  11. Hey I found you… I was wondering where you had all gone…Yippee youre still here….
    I’m that little Lurking, Carolyn the one that thinks we are all connected like Avatar…. well one of us has to think so….

    Thank you for this wonderful blog Carl and Ursula and I love the stunning pictures, I love the content and wicked sense of humour…. even after a few days I was missing you all….. Phew I’m home .

  12. Hello all. Have been in “silent mode” on some of the other blogs. Thanks to everyone for their contributions, I’m learning about Volcanoes slowly (Glacially?) as the Science involved does not come naturally to me. What does come naturally is the simple wonder at the awesome power of these mountains. Never gets old find people to gab with about it.

    Thanks Carl for running the show,
    Lone Star

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