Introducing the Bulletin of World Volcanism (and what did Zavodovski have to do with it?)

Hello, I’m sure some of you know that a few months ago that I started a new volcano Bulletin: the Bulletin of World Volcanism.

It started earlier this year. As most of us know, quite a bit of our discussion on this blog is about new volcanic eruptions (like El Hierro and Etna). Most people look to the Smithsonian/USGS compilation of Weekly reports, which are (as we all know) very good.

I used to rely heavily on these reports to hear about the recent rumblings in the volcano world.

I then discovered Eruption’s blog (which was then on Big Think).


Then in May 2012, one commenter on Eruptions blog (can’t remember who) spotted a plume from the South Sandwich Islands, near Antarctica. NASA posted the photos online and Erik made a post about it, showing that it was from Zavodovski, a volcano that had not erupted since 1819.

In the meantime I was looking forward to the Weekly report (to see how high the plume was and how far it had drifted). But it never appeared, as the weeks went by it became apparent that the Global Volcanism Program had missed it altogether.

Starting the Bulletin

I then started to think if I could make a better version of the Weekly Reports by reporting activity that somehow might have gone missing. So in June 2012, the first issue of the Bulletin was released.

More recently, I’ve just released Issue 3 of the Bulletin and the Bulletin’s official website went live at the beginning of the month:

What’s Inside?

The main feature is, of course the Monthly activity report. It contains information from all sorts of sources. The 3 main sources I use are Volcano, (French) and the Weekly Reports from the Smithsonian.

Most of the reports for continuing activity is from the Weekly reports, as I feel that they are very complete and don’t need to be excluded. So each of the reports is condensed into one section.

Each of the sources is listed at the end of the volcano reports, along with an Acronyms and Abbreviations section.

Other Sections

The New Insight’s section: Short notes on discoveries about volcanoes.

Competition of the Month (Guess the Volcano): a Competition to test your knowledge about volcanoes.

Volcano Analysis: Contains a couple of pages about a single volcano showing morphology, eruptions and other with listed references.

Other sections may be alternated including Book Review’s and Interviews.

How to Order

Ordering is simple. Send an e-mail to: and insert ‘Obtain Bulletin’ and each month’s special code (this months: JAR476) into the Title Box.

And unlike any other Volcano Journal’s its FREE OF CHARGE.


The new website is up as I have mentioned above. Which also explains how to order the Bulletin.

It has a section that shows the Volcanic Eruptions around the world that are happening right now. An ‘other publications’ section in which you can order other doc’s that I have made (also free).

Plus a useful link’s section to all major websites, volcano related.

I also have a blog in which I may post volcanic rumbling around the world.

 The Bulletin is still small at the moment but I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoy writing it J

Lucas Wilson

80 thoughts on “Introducing the Bulletin of World Volcanism (and what did Zavodovski have to do with it?)

  1. Just a couple of things… 😀

    As I will be away at the end of this week (for 1 week), I won’t be able to report activity for that week; so I need you fellow volcanophiles to keep on reporting volcanic activity.

    You can submit a report to


    I’m happy to do an interview with anyone on this blog. They need to have had some experience on a volcano (and photographic proof :-D), but besides that i’m open to anyone.

    I can’t except interviews for this month, as i’m already in the process of one with a certain Dr. Tom Pfeiffer.

  2. There have been 12 EQ’S already today the latest two are what seems a large jump both are a 2.1.

    1164730 10/09/2012 12:13:46 27.7662 -18.0870 10 2.1 4 W FRONTERA.IHI [+] inf
    1164731 10/09/2012 12:39:54 27.7613 -18.0849 10 2.1 4 W FRONTERA.IHI [+] info

  3. My friends, very violent storm here in Iceland, and actually near disaster, for people on the north.

    Where I live several trees have been uprooted and flying away. But the largest disaster has been on the north: many power cables were torn down by the blizzard and fierce winds. And Akureyri (second largest city in Iceland) is without power from what I heard. But the biggest damage was in Myvatn region where sheep have been lost in the blizzard and this is really bad for the local farmers. They were supposed to collect the sheep for winter now in mid September but this freak snow storm cam way early.

    Here, the day has been snowing the entire day and fierce winds. Up to 140km/h gusts. Max temperature +1ºC, min -1ºC.

    Many car accidents, some cars went off road.

    Some large pieces of asphalt was removed from the street near Skaftafell in the south. And sand storm in the southeast, by Hofn.

    Me, with a terrible headache, must have been this extreme and cold wind, and sudden snow. Such a day…. Only half an hour ago I saw a large tree flying in front of me. Never saw that in my life.

    Now my big concern is that this extreme weather might be indeed linked to the sudden and abnormal Arctic melting this summer (observed in both Greenland, Iceland and Arctic Sea).

    Second concern: tropical storm Leslie, now heading towards Newfoundland, is then predicted to head towards Iceland. How about that for some extra crazyness?

    • I normally have one of the Mila webcams on while not actually on my computer at work (I’m not supposed to but I’m a rebel!) and could barely watch today because of the violent shaking of the cameras – but I could see the clouds scudding over Hekla really fast. It looked frightening even on a small screen. I do hope the storm passes quickly and Iceland is able to repair all the damage before the next storm. Take care.

      • Yes, I think its very possible.

        The Arctic melts and ice melting releases cold to the atmosphere. Simple heat transfer from the atmosphere to the ice.

        But it’s not only that.

        Ice melting and higher precipitation over the Arctic also increases fresh water and decreases the sea temperature. This messes with the Gulf Stream.

        Finally, and to add complexity and drama. Through the Arctic, both currents from Atlantic and Pacific can begin to connect to each other. Not happening, but could, in theory. If that would happens, its a big unknown what happens next. Might trigger further melting by increased heat transfer to the Arctic and create some other phenomena that cools severely the climate at mid latitudes. I dont know.

        With increase difference between hot in tropics and cold in Arctic, the jet stream penentrates further inland into the Arctic, especially if ice melts. This pushes tropical storms further inwards into the Arctic as it is beginning to happen. Worse case scenario is having tropical storm Leslie entering west of Greenland and bringing lots of heat and moisture directly to the Arctic. This created positive feedback for ice melting. Accelerated melting. A new equilibrium is going to be reach but no one knows which type (cold or warm)

          • And the writer of that post missed the WHY behind the direction of the airstream being so uniform, and also where all that heat comes from.
            If anyone thinks that air travels in an west to east straight trajectory, think again. That if anything is an urban myth.
            It travels in what is called a circulatory cell pattern. Ie, it goes in a corkscrew where the motion north/south is much larger then the eastern drift. This is how the planet breaths. One mayor such cell starts at the Labrador straight and goes down to around to 30 degrees, turns and follows the gulf stream up.The fun part of it is that the cold stream travels at ocean level, the warm stream is higher up (diminishes function of the warm air as a heater). Turn the Gulf Stream off and it would still pull cold air down the eastern US, but it would not be nearly as warm when it arrived and passed the UK on its way to the Norwegian coast.
            Secondly what he forgot. Albedo. He should read up on that. What the Gulf Stream really does is keep a larger area ice free on the eastern side of the atlantic. If the Gulf Stream went away there would be almost equal amounts of ice on both sides, and ice reflects the suns radiation almost straight back out into space again. And there you would have a bloody drop in temperature.
            So hell yes it keeps us warm. The Gulf Stream is not THEE answer, but it is a fairly large part of it. I am always amazed at guys like that who stubbornly believes that there is ONE solution to any problem that has to do with our complex planet when we are on a daily basis proven to be facing them a minimum of 3 at a time.

            My opinion of paleoclimatologists have never been lower. And it was not high to beginn with. For some reason they are at the top of the food chain among the navel-fareseers. They look at their small sample and emediately draws far flung conclusions (one place I share Lurkings ecological rants), to be able to draw any conclusion about anything you have to lift your eyes out of the beforementioned navel.

      • Two hurricanes never merge and become strong. Not, that’s science fiction, impossible by physic laws.

        One hurricane will always destroy the other when both approach each other. Because in the side of approach, winds blow opposite directions in both hurricanes, which is not good for both of them – it weakens both of them. One hurricane might absorve the other, but the final result is a single, larger, but less organized and weaker hurricane.

        T storm Leslie is likely to head to Greenland and then Iceland.

        Hurricane Michael is likely to pass north of Azores and then UK.

        Both will be non-tropical storms when they reach UK and Iceland, still they can dump strong rain and wind. But if both will move at same time in north Atlantic, they will weaken each other!

        • Actually there is no such law of physics…
          It is all depending on which rotational direction they have.
          First of all, it is rather unusual for them to hit each other to beginn with.
          If their rotational direction is the same as it usually is if they have been spawned in the same hemisphere they will leach each other due to frictional forces as the winds will be going in counterdirection.
          But now and then you have an oddball hurricane going the other direction, or a hurricane crossing the hemisphere boundary, and if those two meet up… What normally happens then is that they start to circle around a common center between them, and as the move on one of them will be warped open and digested, and the result is normally quite stunning.
          So, no physical law banning it, just statistics making it fairly uncommon. But it has happened. Ask Admiral Halsey for an opinion of how fun he thought it was when he found one in the Pacific.

          • And, I forgot the most important part… same-directional hurricanes have a nasty habbit of not hitting each other, instead they to start to rotate around a common center. And that is not fun either to get cought in.

          • yikes, what sort of seas would you get between two hurricanes? sounds like one huge bathtub of interference patterns with waves peaking inexplicably (for the sailor)… I hate cross seas anyway. The only time I really do start to feel a bit queasy.

      • I read it in the news and also from Icelanders. Akureyri, at least parts of it, are without power. Title of the news is “a major part of north Iceland is without power” (

      • Some 34 tourists were rescued in the north, after spending the night stuck in the snowstorm. So far, no one was hurted by this. Only an annoyance and a big adventure to tell their grandchildren!

    • the north pole is moving towards Siberia, so it is bound to be a bid warmer your way on the other hand if it keeps melting might slow/stop the conveyer and then it is a new ice age

    • We’re safe. No worries! In Iceland winter storms are nasty but this one has been particular unexpected and strong. Other than the trouble with electricity down, problems for farmers and many accidents, everything else is fine in Iceland.

      It is just very handy to be able to know the weather forecast at all times. You can really avoid some serious dangers with that. I did by cancelling my travel plans.

      • Swifts and swallows left Mid-Wales about 4 weeks ago. Yesterday there were lots of flocks of geese flying in V formation heading south.

        Not sure if I know how to paste this…

        • Alyson,
          There many more on their way down to you from N Wales. Maybe they bred in Scotland away from our dreadful wet weather?

          • Our housemartins gathered yesterday and I think today they have gone. Sensible birds….but how on earth those little things manage to survive the unpleasant men who hunt them in places like Malta on their resting place before they face the hugeness of the Sahara, the desert conditions and storms , I have no idea. It is a miracle that we still have them to see.

  4. Hi everyone, if anyone moans about wordpress again, I shall have to defend…Have had a major headache with hotmail over the past week or so…. we don´t really use email at home, as usually everyone I know will use my work email as of course, that is always on…..maybe Hotmail shut you down if you don´t use it for a certain amount of time? Anyway, I didn´t really care one way or another, but now am not sure if the non functioning email address is affecting other things…my husband cannot get on to his facebook account, when I tried to post here over past two days, word press doesn´t seem to recognise me and is asking me for email address….so thought, better get it sorted…however I cannot get into our hotmail account…hotmail says “it doesn´t exist”..I tried to re-register and hotmail says “address is not available”…tried to set up new account…couldn´t get past the “robot” security…asked son to set one up for me…which he did last night…tried to get on today and the password was wrong….started again this evening to try to set up a new account…think I might have finally cracked it!.. Hope this will work now….if my avatar changes, hope you all like the “new look”..DebbieZ

    • oh those poor little sheepies..I am sure that on this blog they will have more sympathy than anywhere else in the world..Irpsit I hope you will keep safe..what horrible weather..however, now I wonder if this weather storm is what is going to affect the Canary Islands….up until today, we have had no rain in Tenerife for over 16 months, and tomorrow the forecast is “rain”, which would be pretty strange for this time of year….so I will wait and see what mother nature brings

      • I will never forget the night of the flying sheep untill the day I die.
        It was during the Eyja hoopla that they recorded a windburst of 350 km and a poor sheep flew past the cam. I have always wondered what happened to the sheep.
        I am though afraid we saw it later being abused by Bear Grylls. May he be reborn looking like this:

  5. I’m slightly bored. We’ve all seen the decade volcano list, as well as tons of other slopped-together lists of “most dangerous” volcanoes. I was thinking of starting a project to more accurately guesstimate which Volcanoes TRUELY are the most dangerous to society. Naturally, this is impossible to tell. It wouldn’t be a science, but at the very least, I feel we could get closer than what’s currently being used to determine lists of this regard.

    I think I would go about this by first gathering data on a large amount of volcanoes, and from there could make an excel spreadsheet to scale danger probabilities. I will admit, I’m not a math or physics geek like many in this blog. It doesn’t suit my personality, but perhaps some of the more math inclined could help me figure out an accurate “formula” here.

    Variables I would include

    -Nearby Population of affected humans. You would find this by guaging the population volume near “x” volcano, and located within “x” volcano’s “blast radius” or risk zone. Not sure how I would get this stat, but I’m sure a lot could be gauged by looking up nearby population centers on wikipedia, and forming a bit of a guesstimate based off that.

    This would then look at the likelihood for population to be affected / killed by pyroclastic flows / lahars based off a “normal” large eruption for said volcano. For this, we would assume “normal and large” within range of what said volcano would / could normally erupt. (EX: For Pinatubo, we would assume a mid to low VEI 6 eruption. For St. Helens, we would assume a high VEI 5 to Low VEI 6 Eruption). This is a bit of a difficult statistic to gauge, since it greatly depends which direction pyroclastic flows would travel, and the account for where lahars would potentially travel. For most plinian eruptions, it would be relatively safe to assume that those who wouldn’t evacuate in a specific radius would likely be killed.

    -Estimated modifier value for likelihood of a productive evacuation. Some areas are much better prepared to evacuate (see Iceland). Other areas would have a very difficult time evacuating (see Naples), and thus would have a higher risk of more population being affected during a major eruption. Some areas also monitor volcanoes much better, and as such, would know before hand whether or not to announce a formal evacuation.

    -Mid sized modifier for environmental effects of large scale eruptions. Some say Laki was indirectly the cause of worldwide famines the year after it’s eruption, and if you’re including said famines, was the result of over a million worldwide deaths. Tambora similarly caused more deaths through the killing of crops than from the blast itself. This value ideally would increase exponentially when seeing larger and larger eruptions. Tsunami threats for volcanoes also should be considered here. This would be a really tough value to determine. How do you gauge potential environmental effects accurately?

    -Likelihood of eruption, based off past eruptive cycles. (EX: Yellowstone would have a greatly significantly reduced likelihood of hurting people, since it only erupts on average once every 1 million years or so). This isn’t to be used as a prediction, so much as a simple probability measure based on what we *currently* know as history.

    I would think a formula would look like this –

    (((Affected nearby Population) x (estimated percentage of population evacuated)) x (Environmental Multiplier)) x Eruption Probability Per year

    As an example – lets make a fictitious Mt. Dalek – which has a nearby population of 50,000 people living within the 30 square miles surrounding the volcano.

    Mt. Dalek is in a country with little to no volcanic monitoring, so we would assume only 30% of the population would properly evacuate upon eruption, leaving 70% of the 50,000 people within the blast radius.

    The volcano historically has had five mid-sized VEI 6 eruptions in the last 10,000 years, none of which have had large environmental impacts. This gives us a .0005 probability of a strong eruption every year, with an environmental modifier of “1.1” (estimate).

    This gives us a value of 192.5 – Or in other words, over the course of time, Mt. Dalek would kill 192.5 people yearly based off the above mentioned threat factors and population density over a spread out timeperiod.

    The biggest problem here of course is getting reliable data for a huge volume of volcanoes, and that of course doesn’t include other more difficult factors to determine such as lahar field population centers and such.

    • and

      This looks like quite an up-tick in pressure releases, something brewing a head of steam somewhere at depth. Last time it was after the 10km depth was passed that Bob broke wind and started ejecting his restingolitas. Is it time for a repeat yet?

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