Sheepy Dalek and 2 riddles.

I already spoke about the coming high resolution Video show, featuring different volcanoes taking place in my workplace, in the previous post. An other one of the volcanoes which is going to be shown is Mount Nyiragongo. I have heard about this volcano and even remember when it was in the news 2002. But until I began to check for some new info very recently, I had had no idea what terrible beast this volcano obviously is. That people still live in that area is unbelievable. Yes, I had seen videos. Also the clip Chyphria included in the last thread displaying a special Darwin moment, was not new to me either.

But I had only seen images of the crater and its lake. Then I came across this article: and read about the events which took place with the 1977 and the 2002 eruption.
I knew the lava of this volcano was too fast to outrun it. But somehow it slipped me by that the distance to Goma airport and residential areas can be reached within just an hour even though they are 10 km away. Fissures open in the ground. Gas is emmited and last time explosions were reported in areas where people lived, because methane was leaking out of the ground days after the eruption. During the main event, which occured over 8 vents, terraces inside the crater collapsed into it and this triggered violent phreatomagmatic activity. The ash column was 10 km high in 1977 ( this is higher than Eyja´s column was 2010 ) and 2002, and an area in 8km distance was covered with ash and scoria up to a height of 10 cm. Lava formed a delta in the nearby Lake Kivu.

The article states that the volcano cannot be closely monitored because most technical gear is either looted or vandalized. In 2002 more people died when a gas station exploded. Some local newspapers did not blame the explosion on lava intrusion rather that it was caused looters trying to steal the petrol. Public disorder was rife in the town of Goma during the eruption and the following days.

Both in 1977 and 2002 neighbouring Nyamuragira showed effusive eruptions some time before Nyiragongo went into action.
I had never really planned to pay Nyiragongo a visit one fine day or even going to the Democratic Republic of Congo. After reading all this, I sure wont be found within a few hundred kilometers when Nyamuragira goes into action again.

I suggest this article as weekend reading material again. Besides very nice pictures it gives an impressive description of the last 2 eruptions, as well as a geological map and several scientific papers.

I plan to keep the community here informed about special astronomical events. This week the occulation of Jupiter is not visible from Europe. Sky and Telescope Magazine has an article called Jupiter dances with the moon.

Spica assited by Kilgharrah

Riddle: Name those Volcanoes!

7 volcanoes 7 dings 7 points

No 1 – Visitors to this mountain, a special biodiversity hotspot, find several differing ecosystems. Look for an anagram ……. special bio! SOLVED
No 2 Ski region Canada ‘02. Golfing center Scotland ‘05. Seaside town Germany ‘07. ? ‘08. SOLVED
No 3 – Archimedes, Pythagoras, Newton, Gauss …. & they have in common? Apart from being mathematicians they have all been honoured in the same way – the link has been found and you dont have to look any further than that really. SOLVED
No 4 – Did the 14th century poet’s journey into hell come to a premature end here? GL identified Dante as the poet, but this one is tethered and has 8 legs. SOLVED
No 5 – Fiction tells of a dying man, his life of decadence & recognition of his failure as a writer. Classic book written by EH. SOLVED
No 6 – Evidence infers that until the late 1800s a global human record was held by its summit. The record was one of hieght. SOLVED
No 7 – First it was cut off & then, by way of the capital’s bridge, it was open to the public. The bridge is London Bridge. Think executions! SOLVED

Current ranking: Updated January 13th.

8 Sherine France
6 Alison
5 Sissel
5 Kelda
4 DebbieZ
3 Chryphia
3 Spica
3 KarenZ
3 dfm
2 Bruce Stout
1 Inge B
1 Irpsit
1 Stoneyard
1 Grimmster
1 cbus20122
1 jeannie
1 UKviggen
1 fred

Alan´s Evil Riddle:

Barnes-Wallis may have got an idea from my little helpers to put a shine on my 3 faces!

What am I?
By what is the process known?
Current ranking: Updated 29th December

15 Sissel
11 Kelda
11 Talla
9 KarenZ
4 Ursula
3 Chyphria
3 Henri le Revenant
2 Diana
2 jeannie
1 GeoLurking
1 lughduniese
1 Sa´ke
1 Sherine
1 purohueso745
1 UKViggen
1 IngeB
1 Carl
1 Spica

Happy Hunting!


244 thoughts on “Sheepy Dalek and 2 riddles.

  1. Answers Explanations Links and Points
    Well done to all ‘solvers’

    No 1 Pico Basile – Alison at 00.02 1 point
    Anagram (diversity!) of ‘special bio’
    Far larger than any mountain in the Eastern United States, the dormant volcano of Pico Basile towers over Malabo at 3011 m. Its virgin rainforest is home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles and plants. Rising directly from the ocean, it offers visitors the chance to explore four different ecosystems.
    No 2 Mount Usu – ukviggen at 18.25 1 point
    G8 Summit locations: Kananaskis in Canada, Gleneagles in Scotland, and Heligendamm
    in Germany. The 2008 G8 Summit was held near Mount Usu at Lake Toya, Japan.
    No 3 Craters of the Moon – KarenZ at 20.05 1 point
    Archimedes, Pythagoras, Newton and Gauss are all names of craters on the moon (as well as prominent mathematicians). Craters of the Moon, the largest lava field of the Snake River Plain, covers about 1600 sq km with more than 60 mappable lava flows erupted from eight fissure systems. About 25 cinder cones up to 250-m high formed primarily along a 45-km-long segment of the Great Rift, the principal 2-8 km wide fissure system that trends NW-SE through Craters of the Moon National Monument.
    No 4 Mount Erebus – Alison at 17.14 1 point
    Dante’s Inferno (Italian for “Hell”) is the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell. In 1992 the inside of Mount Erebus was explored by Dante 1, an eight legged tethered robotic explorer. Dante was designed to acquire gas samples from the magma lake inside the inner crater of Mount Erebus. Dante successfully scaled a significant portion of the crater before technical difficulties emerged and it lost all communication with the surface. Unfortunately, Dante had not yet reached the bottom of the crater and so no data of volcanic significance was recorded.
    No 5 – Kilimanjaro – KarenZ at 12.46 1 point
    The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Miller Hemingway. The story centers on the memories of a writer named Harry who is on safari in Africa He has developed an infected wound from a thorn puncture, and lies awaiting his slow death. This loss of physical capability causes him to look inside himself, at his memories of the past years, and how little he has actually accomplished in his writing.
    No 6 – Llullaillaco – KarenZ at 18.15 1 point
    It has been confirmed that Incas climbed Llullaillaco in the pre-Columbian period. Artifacts on the summit constitute the highest evidence of human presence worldwide before the late nineteenth century. In 1999 on Llullaillaco’s summit, an Argentine-Peruvian expedition co-directed by Johan Reinhard and Argentine archaeologist Constanza Ceruti found the perfectly preserved bodies of three Inca children, sacrificed approximately 500 years earlier.
    No 7 – Traitor’s Head – Alison at 23.31 1 point
    Upon London Bridge, following execution, the heads of traitors were stuck on spikes for all to see. National triumphs were marked by gorgeous processions over the water. The bridge was the focal point of the city and for all England.

  2. Stupid is as stupid does.

    This be… um.. “stupid” in the sense that I’m making a wild arsed guess.

    Using the estimated Sulfur gradient for the Tolbachik area I get around 982 ppm for the source magma. Based on the stated 1.2 km³ that has come out as lava flows, I estimated about 3.18 x 10^9 kg of sulfur.

    That’s enough for 6.34 x 10^6 tonnes of SO2, if it were all released as that.

    I estimated the sulfur gradient based off of TiO2 / FeO ratios from

    Click to access Kyle_11IGR_Kam_tephra_fingerprint_final.pdf

    For Khangar (1720 ppm) and Avachinsky (1294 ppm)

    Remember, this is just a wild arsed guess.

    Where does the sulfur come from?

    The subducting sea bed.

  3. Here is something to think about.

    Over the next few million years…. eventually, the rift that contains the Afar depression will open up enough to allow inundation by the red sea.

    How will Erta Ale (and friends) react to being over-run by several km³ of sea water? It might grow quite festive… for a while.

    Expect massive plumes of HCL as the water and magma interact. HCL is a byproduct. I imagine that some of the sites will become quite energetic as phreatic eruptions begin.

    • Not bored shitless, ( quite to opposite cause i got to go to work in a few) but i Love geological maps. Thanks i will add it to our maps in the archive.

    • I have a great idea for making money for VC……. Produce the above map and turn it into a paint by number DIY artistic creation… We could start a whole new trend!
      Body has been challenged this week…….. My brain came out in sympathy….. 😀

  4. Ah! Barnes Wallace. I am afraid England did not recognise the genius of the man and still he is not lauded for all the prototypes he produced that have lead on to today’s aircraft amongst other things.
    His work inventing delta wing aircraft resulted in supersonic planes. Concord, Stealth to name but two.
    Three edges the Delta shape found at the mouths of the Nile and Amazon….. Greek D…..Triangle
    ermmmmmmmm!… Ermmmmm! Birdseed?…. Bombs?….. Wily Coyote and Roadrunner springs to mind… :D….
    I did say my brain has been challenged too .

    • oh! FFS!!!!! It’s Sunday morning…… Alan I can’t take any more… google..giggle ..guggle… goggle… I am playing lip Banjo here……

      I feel so sorry for this guy. Haven’t we all been there to some extent? Maybe not in such a public place!

      • “I’ve got a presentation in TEN MINUTES!”

        BTW, don’t think it can’t happen to you. I have, on occasion, worked on printers that had a 12 inch long crack down the outside of the cover. I am not at liberty to say what law enforcement agency it was. It seems that they needed to print out a report and the printer said “no.” The crack was not the cause of the problem… just a manifestation of the violence that the printer experienced afterwards.

        From the movie Office Space

  5. I’m totally lost with Alan’s riddle. – After the war, Barnes Wallis’ and his staff worked on many futuristic aerospace projects including supersonic flight and ‘swing-wing’ technology (later used in Tornado and other aircraft types).
    The swing-wing technology implicates swinging back the wings of the aircraft at high speeds.
    Gannets showing their own developed swing-wing technology when diving:

    • Wow Jamie! Good one. Despite the rudimentary nature of the filming, it shows the menacing monster that Hekla can be. Also some good flying. No mean feat with all the turbulence that the volcano would have caused. I do advise tho that the sound be turned off!!!

      • Very good. even without erupting volcanoes mountain flying is rough..turbulence
        almost always a problem. Having done quite a bit of aerial photography,Both
        pilot and photographer were very good..

  6. El hierro has been so quiet lately, this might be related to other things like the currents rather then to volcanic activity…

  7. Oh ‘ell! I thought this was fairly easy one!
    Karen’s brazoil nuts are a very similar shape……….
    I am having trouble in these comment boxes with the cursor not responding to mouse or arrow keys so i can’t get rid of typo’s

  8. How about
    Granular convection sometimes called the Brazil nut effect? Shaking or trmoring will produce a circulatory effect causing larger particles to come to he surface. (As brazil nuts always end up on top of a shaken bag of mixed nuts!)
    This phenomenon is one of the causes of inverse grading which can be observed in many situations including soil liquefaction during earthquakes or mudslides. Granular convection is also exemplified by debris flow, which is a fast moving, liquefied landslide of unconsolidated, saturated debris that looks like flowing concrete. These flows can carry material ranging in size from clay to boulders, including woody debris such as logs and tree stumps. Flows can be triggered by intense rainfall, glacial melt, or a combination of the two.( From Wiki)
    I Know! Three edged? No Shape! 😦 but I learned something different here!

      • Same here Diana, I thought of Sugar loaf mountain being brazil nut shape but no connection I can see to the riddle.
        Hope that pleurisy has finally cleared up.

          • Rofl! Hi newby. I hope you too are feeling better. I am almost back to my usual self although I feel lack of energy, this may be due to serious hibernating instict in this horrendously dismal weather. You know newby, there are times when I feel so very …blonde I almost wish I could go grey, but then natural hair colour has saved me a fortune in DIY couring and hairdressing salon costs 😀

          • Hi Diana, and going grey with a hubby who says, ‘don’t you dare dye your hair, I love it like that’ certainly saves me a fortune too. 😉
            I am much better lately thanks, and thanks to a very good GP.

  9. The hull of Barnes Wallis’s Wild Goose is getting on for being a similar shape. What the heck do you call a solid with 3 edges & two vertices?

  10. Nut shaped fossils are: echinoderms called blastoids; brachiopods, including the productids have an acorn-like shape; and, shells of cephalopods.

  11. Could Alan’s riddle have something to do with saltation?
    Saltation is the bouncing effect of wind blown desert sand grains!

    • Yippee now we’re getting somewhere!
      Ding to Kilgharrah
      Now find what I look like!
      Archers theme ‘bounces’, B Wallis bouncing bomb, desert sand grains – millet seed sand
      ie ventifaction features
      If this is bad…….. 👿 to come!!

  12. Sahara, Atacama, does the answer have something to do with Hamada?
    “Hamadas are stony and rocky deserts.
    Hamadas are produced by the wind removing the fine products of weathering: a process known as deflation. The finer products are removed in suspension, whilst the sand is removed through saltation and surface creep, leaving behind a landscape of gravel, boulders and bare rock.”

  13. @ Alan…… Yes Sherine already said that…. Shérine France says:
    January 20, 2013 at 19:25 ……… Weldone Sherine :D… Ah ! Well! I have a week to rest my brain a little ready for the next riddle 😀 I do love them 😀

  14. Today an earthquake occured in near roermond, limburg.
    V 2013-01-20 18:26:33.03UTC 50.93N 5.83 E 8 3.4 THE NETHERLANDS
    The west-rhine graben seems often neglected, but is capable of earthquakes till 7.0 Mw in West Europa

    • Assuming that it is also normal faulting (you indicated that it’s a graben area, so normal faulting would generally be appropriate) Mag 3.4 → 0.49 cm average displacement along a 0.7 km long subsurface fault, with a down-dip rupture width of about 1.1 km. (again, using Wells-Coppersmith)

  15. OT: How long before the culinary world catches up with cutting edge technology? In what year will some enterprising chef release their “thermobaric chicken” recipe?

    Note: The process would both tenderize and cook the meal, and preferably, not scatter it over a sizable area.

    Also… I’m not sure what this is. Though it appears that the intention is to be able to eat it afterwards.

    An alternate link for the Chicken Masala.

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