Is it already a year ago that this place opened. If you check the archives you will find that, indeed, time flies. On November 15 2011 Carl proudly presented this new place to the world and had 4500 Visitors on his first day, if i remember correctly.
Most people found their love for following volcanoes on the internet with the eruption of the now famous Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull. We had met on Erik Klemettis fantastic blog Eruptions. But due to a very user-unfriendly commenting system, many of us were and are no longer able to contribute on this blog and so we felt outcast and needed a new home.
Carl provided this place by starting VolcanoCafe with the great and highly appretiated help of Ursula.
He gathered some dragons around him to help him ward of spam and i joined the dragons crew in the end of march and since then i devote many hours a week into the support of this place. Now – one year later, we have 1236000 views and over 65000 comments. We saw our busiest day on June 8th when it looked like El Hierro might become active again with 12,441 visitors on one day only.
All who joined the bandwagon later, might wonder about our routines and the Sheepy Dalek Bar.
Well, many of us are webcam freaks and for quite some time we wondered what this odd looking thing in front of the RUV Heklacam was.
This is a screenshot done by me on Nov. 14th also showing the very bad weather Iceland has at the moment.
Later we found that is was an old observatory and discovered that a wind mill in Santorini had a very similar shape and then the cherished webcam pointing at Bob. The inner wall of the harbour of La Restinga was decorated with many of those things. All looked somewhat like the Daleks of the movie Dr. Who. So we decided, obviously when volcanoes erupt they spread the Dalek seeds all over the world and so you can find Daleks everywhere!
Many volcanophiles developed a special relationship to sheep. This is partly due to staring at webcams around Hekla for hour and hours. All that happened were some sheep moved from left to right, or even more spectacular…. from right to left. The slept in the grass, feed, played and jumped around. And some of us just watched and counted how many of them were black. When they suddenly disappeared, we really started missing them. So what lay closer as naming the Off- Topic Bar which is opened every friday night SHEEPY DALEK.
Sheep in front of Hekla. Webcamscreenshot May 2012.
So what this post still lack is a sum up of the happenings of the year.
It all started with Bob.
Or at that time BeldfjallþessierþekktursemBob = Volcano that is known as Bob.. thats another story. For the newcomers… Bob is our nick name for the submarine volcano which erupted in a short distance of La Restigna on El Hierro in October to December 2011.
The hassel this created was one of the reasons why this blog was born. Unfortunately Bob decided not to break the surface and we waited for some surteyan action unsuccessfully. The intensity of the tremor intensified again in June but died down again. Our beloved Restignacam is no longer available. This year was not all too rich with volcanic eruptions but sadly we had to report 2 large earthquakes in Italy. Etnas paroxysm, which seemd to have been scheduled as weekly episodes for quite some time, started to become less frequently and have died down completely now. We also saw an eruption of 2 volcanoes in New Zealand at the same time. One of Tongario and one of White Island. Kizimen and Klyuchevskoy burped a little bit occasionally but that never made the news. Same with ash emmsions by Cleveland. Some volcanoes of Middle Amerca did erupt this year, but either there were no webcams or the sites were unreachable and none of the active commenters on VC is from this region, so this was not discussed heavily. The only really reliable volcano this year was Sakurajima and KarenZ just recently infotained us with 3 posts on it. Now lets not forget, we always had a close eye on everything that was up in Iceland. No eruptions took place but we saw some earthquake swarms and we have several regulars living there, which could keep us on our toes. If something ever happens we will have eye reporters!
On the OT side, we had at least one riddle almost every friday and some regulars spent many hour traveling the world of the internet trying to solve them. We sure learned a whole lot about all kinds of things because the search often led to very odd places. Especially “evil” Alan tried to teach us geology. Lets not forget our very own team of skilled plotters GeoLurking, dfm, chyphria and KarenZ who supply us with insights on earthquakes in Iceland and the Canary Islands.
Not much is up volcanowise but that might change because volcanoes are unpredictable and then we hope to get a lot of visitors. And as you all know, the end is coming soon. 😉 To battle off the hoards of 2012ers, I felt the need to have an assistant. So here i present a new dragon to you. Her name is Kilgharrah. Please welcome our new dragon.
Klyuchevskoy webcam screenshot already used in another post before.
I asked for comments for this special occasion and besides the great birthday card by chyphria, here are 3 birthday mails by Talla, Schteve and UKViggen:
Happy Birthday to Volcanocafe. Is it only a year? I can’t remember life without it!
VC not only represents a great place to learn from knowledgable and enthusiastic people, but a source of genuine camaraderie. The fact that a highly active blog-cum-forum like this has lasted for a year with hardly a single drop of virtual blood being spilled is a great testament to all the lovely folks who frequent it. This café really is a place to relax, read, rant, learn, smile and generally feel ‘cosy and warm’. Thanks to everyone – from Carl and the dragons to newcomers eager to learn – for making it so enjoyable.
For me it has also been a great catalyst to grow my nascent interest and knowledge, and also, by default, that of my son who is also smitten with the lava bug. It’s early days, but maybe a volcanologist in the making – after his professional rugby career is over, of course!! 🙂
Many blogs are one person’s view of the world, but Carl has always encouraged input from many sources and on many levels, and that has made it a more entertaining, educational and welcoming place. I really hope it prospers, and with a growing roster of contributors I’m sure that it will.
Dear Bloggers, Dragons, Commentators, Lurkers and Carl…
Would just like to say how I admire, respect and embrace the philosophy of this great place.
When the volcanoes are quiet, which they have been lately, anything is up for discussion (as long as the conversation remains civil; if not adult!!!)
When something happens though; the focus is as sharp as in one of Spica’s rather wonderful SEM images. Plots, analysis, useful websites, scientific papers, eyewitness accounts gleaned from factbook, interesting questions and amateur speculations come thick and fast…
I like to think of this special group of people as a communal mind trying to get a handle on one of the great mysteries of Planet Earth.
Thanks to Carl for getting us started (hope to see you soon) and thanks to all for keeping us going.
Love Schteve x
“I’ve always had a general interest in volcanoes and used to check the Vesuvius site regularly but it wasn’t until “the Icelandic Volcano” closed Europe’s airports that I started to look for more information. I came across Jon’s blog and was a regular reader, but didn’t dare post on it. When Carl started Volcanocafe I plucked up courage and started to add my (usually OT) comments. Eventually I managed to write an article about an historic eruption in Saudi Arabia – history being my specialism. This is what I love about the blog: a group of very diverse people from all over the world with differing skills and interests come together to chat, discuss, argue and celebrate. The volcanoes are always there in the background, but while we wait for them to roar into life we discuss everything under the sun. It’s a wonderful virtual community and I’m glad to be a small part of it. Long life to Volcanocafe – Happy Birthday!”
A TOAST TO VOLCANOCAFE and the crowd here.
Thank you for being such devoted followers, may the blog live many years longer.
Thanks for this blog Carl and Ursula!
Happy Birthday VolcanoCafe!
To start off, I would like to relay something a really good friend told me. “Arf, arf, arf, grrrr… ARF!”
VolcanoCafe has allowed me to partake in a somewhat “odd” hobby… math, or more specifically, looking at physical phenomenalwith math. This all started with Analytic Geometry taught by Mr. Pendergast back in High School. Though I didn’t pick it up as a career, I did gain an appreciation for it.
One of the more productive areas is in the realm of plotting… mainly in order to try and come up with an understanding of what is going on. I had seen some rather nice quake plots. Since I knew where the data was at it only made sense to try and reproduce the effect. Other people have picked up on this idea and have done fantastic work. To me, this is quite acceptable. It allows me to look at other aspects of seismic activity.
The strength of VolcanoCafe? Each brings something from either their discipline or just the basic background knowledge. (also one reason that Eleotridae link was in the Sleeperfish article… we have a lurking bologist)
Most of the work to make this place interesting are the readers and their commentary, so congratulations to the readers!