The most dangerous volcanoes of the world! Talk part III

My choice of the most dangerous volcano of the world:
I have to agree with quite a few people here on Volcanocafé. The most dangerous one is one which has been dormant for a long period of time and suddenly starts to wake up. Even more so if this sleeping giant lies in a densely populated area. Areas around volcanoes are often inhabited by large crowds of people. The soils are very fertile. Over all I would say, the most dangerous volcanoes lie around the Pacific Ring of Fire (Sorry Renato.) These are mostly volcanoes caused by tectonic subduction zones and so many of them are and were created by an explosive magma mixture.
Carl´s choice was Mayon.


Situated in the north of the Phillipines it threatens thousands of people. Read more on
Mayon most certainly has the potential to match Pinatubo or even worse.

Vesuvius comes to mind.


Not a volcano on the Ring of Fire but located near Naples Italy in the south of Europe. Pliny the Younger; also called Plinius was an eyewitness and described the event. Many features he wrote about were considered fairy tales or made up stories to embellish the text; such as the eruption column looking like a pine tree or lightning happening inside the ash column, for the longest time. It took modern scientists to figure out that he described nothing but the events that  actually happened. An even bigger eruption happened around 1800 BC. It is now called the Avellino Eruption and has had a huge effect on the Bronze Age population of the area. Pyroclastic flows seem to have travelled as far as 40 km from the crater. And Vesuvius lies inside the crater of Monte Somma. Close to it on the other side of Naples in the middle of the town of Pozzuoli one can find “Campi Flegrei”, the Flegreian Fields.

Dragon Schteve  pre-read the articles and pointed out:….. in part 3 you say that Campi Phleagri is in the middle of Pouzzoli, actually Pouzzoli is in the middle of Campi Phleagri, the volcano in Pouzzoli is Volcan Sulfatura… 

This volcano is far from extinct. Should it become even more active … there is a schoolyard and many housing areas situated just a few steps away from the vents.
LacroixEver heard of Monte Epomeo? It forms part of the island of Ischia. Another active volcano in the vicinity of Naples. Earlier there was an image of Mount Saint Helens and its newly formed lava dome. Here is an image of the rocky plug being pushed out of Mount Pelee shortly before the eruption.

The rock on which Castle Aragonese lies, is just such a plug.

Here is an other: Sant Angelo D’Ischia
So 2 supervolcanoes have the potential to destroy Naples, in case they should decide to erupt, most of Europe would get influenced, if not directly through ashes or gases, most certainly through the breakdown of the economy in Southern Italy or closures of airspace. Fortunately nothing points to an imminent eruption within the next few years, but this may change at anytime.
Read up on this in
All 3 posts by Carl!

Aukland Volcanic Field.
Read further on by El Nathan.
This volcanic feature may not harbour a threat for the globe as a whole but would you want to live in a town in whose very center a new volcano could erupt very soon? Over 40 volcanic cones can be counted inside the borders of Auckland. Even though the Taupo Volcanic field is considered more dangerous, it could be quite inconvenient if an eruption starts taking place within walking distance of someone’s house. The cones which can be seen at the moment are most likely dead and won´t erupt again, but magma will find another way out and Auckland Volcanic Field will erupt again. The question is: when and where?

One of my personal candidates for the title “most dangerous volcano of the world” is Mount Rainier.
Like Mount Saint Helens it is member of the mountain range called the Cascadians. But it is far higher than its sibling Mount Saint Helens. A glacier covers its top, so in an eruption lahars will occur. Deposits show this has happened in the past. Many buildings of the area sit on top of 20 meter layers left behind by such mudflows. The hazard map shows the areas that will be affected.

MountRainierHazardMapAs stated before, by me and many others, the most dangerous volcano is one which has lain dormant for ages and suddenly reawakens with little warning. This doesn’t happen frequently insofar as most volcanoes announce that they’re becoming active again, months or even years in advance of an eruption. But it has happened. Chaiten is one example for such an occurrence. Mount Saint Helens began to stir only a few months before it blew.
I also want to mention names, you should at least have heard these in a speech about dangerous volcanoes. Nevado del Ruiz, Santa Maria and Tungurahua will keep on threatening the lives of people in Middle America. Sakurajima will make the news again when its ash column rises some kilometres, though you might find, the people living closeby are not reacting much. They are very used to this behaviour by now. Unzen in Japan is another candidate that will keep erupting. Taal near Manila in the Philipines needs to be mentioned. We here on VC are watching Iceland closely. And we hope that Hekla or Katla or one of the other fascinating volcanoes in Iceland will decide to end their slumbers soon. Perhaps very soon.
One possible candidate for a super volcano is Uturuncu. The area around it is uplifting rather fast lately. It lies in a rather remote sparsely populated area. If it should go super volcano, this won´t matter much, people will notice even if they live on the other side of the world.


Back to Middle Europe.

Unknown to many people there is an active volcanic field right within the borders of Germany. The Eifel Volcanic field. The landscape still shows volcanic cones. Some of the craters are filled with water and present themselves as maars. Laacher See is one of them.

Image taken by Chryphia!

Image taken by Chryphia!

The Carbon-dioxide bubbles emerging from it’s bottom in places, indicate there is still a magma chamber buried deeply below the peaceful countryside. Nothing indicates an imminent eruption. It’s just that whenever you think of potentially dangerous volcanoes the Eifel volcanoes should not be left out.

In my home country Austria. It is known that many “rocks” sticking out of the landscape are made of basalt, on one of those the Riegersburg was built in Styria. Hot springs have been used for healing purposes for a while and mineral waters have frequently been bottled and sold. The whole extent of the volcanic origin of the area was discovered when people started looking for oil in the area. The drilling cores gave hints of the material lying deep below the sediments.

To sum everything up:

Is it necesarry to fear volcanoes? No. But they should be treated with respect. Monitoring them closely is not wasted money for useless things but essential for the local and global population. In some areas like Niaragongo in Africa and just recently in El Hierro, gear like seismometers got stolen. This is always very bad news, not only for the local volcanologists.

Thank you for your attention. I hope i could describe the fascination volcanoes harbor for me a little bit. In case you have question or heard something about a volcano erupting which interests you.. come visit us at Volcanecafe. Even though no one on VC is a volcanologist, the crowd will try to provide answers to your question and give you the latest news of the wonderful world full of volcanoes. Join us and share our hobby with us!


So this is my concept for my talk on Thursday 26. 9. 2013. The speech will of course be in German and I have prepared a powerpoint presentation with videos and loads of normal but also high resolution images. In case someone wants the presentation… i can provide the .pptx. Just ask. The talk will most likely be filmed. Maybe I can offer this too.
Again.. keep in mind, this is a talk for “normal” people, no volcanoholics like us, I hope to change this and make them addicted to eruptions.

Not to forget. Thank you all here on Vc who congratulated me and inspired me to be able to hold such a talk at all. Thank you ALL!!! You are a wonderful crowd of volcano crazy individuals!



212 thoughts on “The most dangerous volcanoes of the world! Talk part III

  1. Public Service Anouncements!

    1. Due to the nature of todays article by Spica it is prudent to postpone the Riddles untill tomorrow. Normal Friday sillyness is of course okay!
    2. I would like to anounce our Newest Dragon! He will start raining fire upon the Café as of now. I will let him introduce himself…

    And something hilarious…
    The band LATERAL BLAST emailed to our Volcanocafé mail and wanted to bock a concert at the Café. Yes, a physical concert. With that name I would have loved to book them…
    Here is the mail in my own translation from Italian:
    “Hello, Hello!
    We are a band from Rome “The Lateral Blast” we play Blues / Rock and this is our
    eleventh year playing. We currently have two albums and for mid-January comes our third album published at the Wolf Records of Leonardo Angelucci.
    Moreover, thanks to the collaboration in 2011 with rapper Roman Luca Metric Fattinanzi we have an EP single “Time Goes” as a Prize winner by the critics.
    We wanted to know if you could do a performance entertainment at Volcano Cafe for an unplugged concert that can entertain the evening.
    For us it would be a real honor as we have a name of an eruption chosen by our guitarist and drummer whom both are graduates at the Faculty of Geology.
    We look forward to hearing from you.
    Best Regards”
    Spica suggested that we should make a Volcanocafé tour with them and hold Volcanocafés in different venues with them playing.
    Anyhow, it seems like we have a band for the evening thanks to Youtube:

  2. Great post. I’d like to make a case for Bamus and Ulawun in PNG, a study in 1983 shows that both these volcanoes could go caldera very soon.

  3. Hi Spica

    Good article.
    Just my 2 cents :
    – in 76, a third of the french island of Guadeloupe was evacuated for a few months because of the phreatic eruption of the Soufrière. There was at the time a famous polemic between Haroun Tazieff and Claude Allègre (which ended science ministry a few years later). Of course the economic effects were devastating, even if the Volcano lies quite far from the economic center of the island.
    – Nearby Soufrière Hills in Montserrat can show that even if an event is not “large” the effects on the population can be huge. The population of the island was divided by 2 (starting from 12 000) by the 95 eruption and the island has not yet recovered nearly 20 years later.

    • I am a bit confused here. First seeing Spica mentioning Soufriere on Guadeloupe on her microscope pages, and now your comment with “the Volcano lies quite far from the economic center of the island [Gouadeloupe]” Are we talking about two different volcanoes?

      The (British) Island of Montserrat with the volcano Soufriere Hills lies 80 km NW of the (French) Island of Gouadeloupe. Is there a volcano also on Gouadeloupe, or is it Soufriere Hills on Montserrat that caused the population to flee? But 80 km across the sea is quite a distance, isn’t it?

      • Ah, that is the Carribean, there are at least 4 Soufriere that I know of (no, make it 6 with Dominica where there is also cold Soufriere).

        So there is Soufriere Hills in Montserrat, and La grande Soufrière (because it’s the tallest peak of all the west indies) in Guadeloupe. What is in Spica’s vault is ash from the dome collapse in 02/2010 of Soufriere Hills in Montserrat. I collected some ash while luckily being in Guadeloupe at the time.
        It gets pretty confusing, I know. Happily I did not throw in some picture I made in the caldera over Soufriere in Dominica


        makes a lotta sulfur !

        • Thank you Sherine and dfm! Alles klar! 🙂 So it’s not the Fire Mountain in this area but the Sulfur Pit. I wonder if the sulfur has been more important to the people than the terrible fire, that they named the mountains after it.

          • The uses of sulfur are really interesting. It is maybe one of the main bricks of all the chemical industry. Now I know why I went into volcanoholics. It was chemically induced.

  4. What is the most dangerous volcanic eruption?

    Easy answer… one that you can’t get away from. Three things contribute to the lethality of it.

    1) Time. Is there enough warning to flee?
    2) Space. Can you get out without being trapped in a crowd of other people fleeing? (Naples will be problematic.)
    3) Distance to safety. Where is it at? How far? The nature of the eruption will determine this. A single scoria cone has less of an impact that a full on maar formation or flank collapse.

    • Distance is the most important on a personal level. Any volcanic feature that opens up under your feet will kill you. Regardless of how small. Even the 7.4 cubic meter of lava that Tor Zawar erupted would have killed you if you stood ontop when the eruption occured.

    • I could get really nasty talking about this…

      In a toned down manner, lets just say that they prosecuted the wrong people. The bureaucrats in the permitting office should have been drawn and quartered, or at least keel hauled in the traditional sense. (barnacles and all)

      • It is the Boblesconi… Remnants of his politics being flushed out.

        I am starting to be worried about this. This is the third (that we know of), and this one is far bigger. First of all, imagine if one in that size sprouted into existance on the run-way of Fiumicino Airport while an airplane was landing?
        Secondly, with all that gas and mud coming up, it is going to leave an area empty. So something is going to give somewhere. Either as a sinkhole, or as general subsidence. I fear that parts of Fiumicino might end up a few meter lower than now, and that would mean down at the ocean floor.

        • Has anyone an idea of how much mud and gas already came out of those vulcanetto’s? And a second question, what is the “adress” of the first two vulcanetto’s, I lost it.

            • Yes, I found it. The first are on the roundabout which connect viale del lago di traiano and viale coccia di morto. If i’m reading it right the new one is out in the sea next to viale coccia di morto. Coccia di morto means guardian of the death (at least if you listen to google).

            • And that makes me believe it is one problem spot. But it is a few kilometers between the two in the roundabout and the one in the ocean.

        • Modern runways are concrete based (so hard to breach for a fumarole). But I can answer. One airliner crash. News travels fast, so there probably would not be more.

            • Depends on LCN numbr of the runway (Load Condition Number), highest “footprint” was the B-727 (two wheels each side, two on nose) but most have lot less footprint.

              Usually the touch down zones are made the tickest … and we are talking re-inforced concreate, maybe 40 – 50 cm in most places, I guess (do not know exactly how thick they need be at Fumicino), they have bitumen on all surfaces / runways. Then there is concrete under it, up to maximum of a meter in touch down zones.

              “Typically, for heavy-duty commercial aircraft, the pavement thickness, no matter what the top surface, varies from as little as 10 inches (25 centimetres) to as much as 4 ft (1 m), including subgrade.”

              Aerodrome info here. Have not found LCN number yet.

              Click to access LIRF.pdf

    • Is it a mudvolcano driven by gasses, a real volcanic feature or something else; And is it good or bad that there are new formation?

      • It is so far only a Mudcano. But what is penultimately driving it is unknown. And to top it off, what started it?

        I would say that if you have more and more of them sprouting it is a sign that something has changed on a broader scale below Fiumicino. And a big change is normaly not that good. What started the change is something I would dearly like to know.

        • I was going to ask about this – but you’ve answered my queries. I wanted to know if you thought these mudcanoes were part of something bigger that is stirring – if that is the case what kind of time frame could we be talking about? I guess years, but could it be decades?

          • I would not want to give any timeframe for anything untill we know more about what is happening and why. I would though not be surprised if more Vulcanettos appears.

            • Has there been any seismic information on the area? If this has been caused by rising magma or a growing magma pocket, there should be associated seismicity.

      • What is interesting is that the location is not really in the same place. So the phenomenon is larger. A very (too) simple explanation : temp is going up down there and there is gas expansion. Or gas is migrating because a small quake liberated some pocket down there…
        However, there are really many mudvolcanoes in Italy, some are in Sicilia (I know at least of 2 locations, one near Agrigente the other between Catane and Etna) and their activity is quite variable.
        I hope there wil be some serious gas analysis, which could give some insight thru the various isotope ratio for instance.

        • I know that INGV has been there and taken samples. I am waiting for them to be ready, and hopefully we can get some info from Boris.

  5. Great series of articles, no wonder the Lecture was such a great hit!
    Very good.

    re “Booking at our Volcano Café?”
    Ahem, but we do, maybe, its secret.
    Them “owners” do not know.
    Its Volcano Café & Bar, disguised under the name of Volcano House.
    Near the Harbour, Reykjavik, where else
    not been inside.

    “Moreover, the coffee we serve was grown in the volcanic regions of Guatemala. Try it!”

        • Yep doing good thanks. loving these posts from Spica. She is good eh? By the way it is Frances with an E. With an I is the male version. Mind you, I answer to pretty much anything as long as it isn’t rude. 😉

          • Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa! 🙂

            I once dated a Francis across the Puddle (in the US)… Seems like the Frances there can be spelled with an “i”. So I got confused again…
            The alternately (US) spelling Frances was a blast, she blasted rockets into space for a living. What on earth was I talking about… Hm… Me need cookie.

            • I have been around, just nothing of interest to add to discussions, although it is nice to be missed. :). I will be missing from Wednesday for a few days at least. Do watch Hekla for me please. 😉 and I expect Bob to surface as an island as in Pakistan. LOL

            • Hi Frances! Nice to see you again – take good care of yourself next week whatever you are up to! I’ll be watching Hekla for you. 🙂

          • Hi Talla, A lot to do at the moment and next week an eye op so not allowed to use screens for a few days at the very least. That is why I am sure Hekla will be cruel to me and show some activity after me watching her for so long and seeing nothing. Thanks for keeping an eye on her for me. :D.

  6. Source of escape and timing is critical. But also is intensity of eruption.

    If you are near Hekla, and Hekla blows, then distance and source of escape is critical. Let’s see the several scenarios:

    If Hekla blows and you are on top of it, you die. Even a minor crack will melt your legs. Or a steam explosion will blind you and big burns.

    If Hekla blows and you are on its higher slopes, you could have a chance if you start running towards your jeep within the 1 hour notice of earthquakes (but perhaps you might not even feel them until its just a few mins before the boom!). Being on the higher slopes can give you little time to escape when the mountain starts rumbling, but there is a chance of escaping alive if you run fast!

    If eruption starts when you are there on the lower slopes, you can run like hell and still escape. Anyways even if the hot pumice falls on you, you could be lucky to be on the opposite side of the mountain to where lava bombs fly, but this needs a minor eruption. Most eruptions (VEi3+) will probably still kill you, due to falling lava bombs.

    If you are taking a pic at the bottom of Hekla, next to your jeep, and Hekla goes boom, you will manage to escape (on the jeep), but you could probably face some hot pumice falling over your vehicle about 30min later, if the eruption if strong enough and you are downwind. Giving this time, you can probably head at least 15km away and escape serious damage. But a big one, might throw a lava bomb during you escape along the gravel road.

    If you are at Burfell, some kms away, then it will be a magnificent spectacle to observe, but hot pumice might head towards your direction if you remain there (most likely you need to take a shelter). Lava bombs can ocasionally fly some 15km away and in a few big eruptions even until 50km away (like it happened in 1510).

    • One should remember that Hekla has the proven distance kill record of any volcano if one count only direct volcanic products. And with that I do not mean tsunami waves like in Krakatau. No, I am talking about the guy that was beheaded in 1947 by a lava-bomb 42 kilometers away.

      • No, incorrect. He was schientist on the slope, taking pictures. Got too near and was hit in the chest. The 42 km away, was in middle ages. And another on horseback 20 km away, likewise in middle ages.

      • Hm… I would not. Actually the GPS-plots put a whonking huge part of the new magma that has arrived in the Hekla system right next to and under Búrfell. It is probably just a dyke emplacement into a lateral magma reservoir, but still I would stay away from Búrfell. At least untill Hekla had opened up.

  7. And in a completely different universe than mine this is happening… And as you are watching… Know that this crap is actually sold…
    Oddly enough the woman in the film reminds me about my former wife… And before anyone draws any conclusions, my ex wife is my best friend.

  8. I miss Killy’s riddles 😦 Its Friday so I check in anyway and have no doubt Killy is busy with her multitude of pups. My own pup AKA..Lurk the Malevolent has been keeping me busy.. 2 weeks ago he managed to tip a pot of wallpaper paste all down the stair carpet…last week he disturbed a wasp nest and got stung on his eyelid and around his willy.. 6 stings in total, so that was a rush to the vet as his eyes swelled up so bad. Today he managed to find a packet of Immodium and ate at least 3 of them, so that was another visit to the vet, poor pup had to be given a jab to make him puke it all up!! So the last 3 weeks have cost me dearly…Anyway, I doubt many of you are that interested in a pup, but since i named him after one of our legendary Dragons, then I thought maybe GeoLurking might like to see how his namesake is progressing. The flag cushion was chosen especially for the occasion 🙂

    • Hello Kelda!

      We all miss Killys Riddles!
      I seriously hope she will be back soon.
      Todays Riddles are postponed untill tomorrow, sadly those will not be the Killy Riddles.

      • Oh Dear, well maybe she’ll be back soon. Your riddles are good too so please dont be offended. I imagine Killy is ‘puppied out’ by now, but it cant be much longer before they all find new homes..She will miss them all when they’ve gone. I will try and check in tomorrow night, presuming Lurk hasnt got into another scrape that I need to save him from. 🙂

    • The interesting fact I learned today was that Immodium is actually an Opiate…I hope Lurk doesnt have to go to Rehab after this…Oh Happy Days 🙂

      • He is a gorgeous dog…but boy does he know it!! It must be the blue eyes that get folks attention but it is very hard to take him for a walk without getting waylaid by everyone that he meets, he laps up the attention and is beginning to get a bit too full of himself. Needs a bit of a kick up the butt to bring him to attention, but I’ve been too soft.. tough love is what is needed.!! Anyway this is more suited to a doggie forum rather than a Volcano one so maybe i will give it a rest for now 🙂

    • He’s still got those amazing blue eyes! I thought that might just be a very young puppy thing – he certainly looks like a character. My own pup is lying next to me – she’s 6 now but still has her puppy moments!

      • He has the blue eyes because of a genetic thing, his Mum is a Merle coat dog which gives a mottled coat pattern and sometimes blue eyes. However the red coat gene is stronger so although he has the merle gene he doesnt have the usual mottled colour, it only shows in his eyes. This is all stuff I’ve only just learned, the main thing I learned is never to breed a Merle to a Merle or the pups may turn out blind or deaf….So Lurk is going for his ‘big boy’ op soon……all my boys have had that done…except my son who didnt fancy that idea 🙂

      • Well I’m sure our resident GeoLurkiing is not at all malevolent…but his namesake Lurks with evil intent at all times! Apart from chewing up pills that make him sick, he is determined to have all my underwear, he owns the cat litter tray, barks at the fish in Aquarium and would attempt to totally annihilate the Cat..but cats are superior beings so he’s still working on that one. He’s just an average Pup really.

        • psst… I am malevolent. More passive aggressive than anything else though. I’m the sort of person who will sit, mildly amused as you make a horrible mistake.

          True story. My cousin got married. I was sitting shooting the shit with my mom about the habeneros that I had grown. The soon to be groom walked up and asked what the peppers were that were sitting on the table. “Miniature Sweet Bells” I replied in jest. He reached down an grabbed one. “Oh, I’ve never had one of those.” and then chomped down, biting off half of the pepper.

          And this was on his wedding day.

    • I reckon my dog beats yours for a walking disaster area. Last week I was mowing the lawn when the mower stopped. After checking it over I couldn’t see what the problem was so checked back along the power lead. No problem there, Check back along the extension…… GULP!!! It was chewed almost in half with bare copper showing. One very stupid mutt had his life saved by a safety trip at the fuse box!
      He was a very subdued dog for the rest of the morning.

    • Right on the Willy! OMG!!!

      I hope he gets better. My dad had to dig a wasp stinger out of my thigh with a pocket knife. I still relish that scar. Makes me fondly think of me dad who took a knife to me to relieve my pain.

  9. Just a little story. I went to te canary islands many times. Always cheap ass discount packages . I’ve been to fuerta fentura, Lanzarote, Gran genaria, and several times to tenefife and La Palma. Just hike or cycle in the oposite direction of the beach and you’ll always have an excellent trip with amazaing geology and fauna.I had a boot trip along the north west of la palma , along the Caldera de Taburiente,.Amazing site. You see the many layers of 5 million years of vocanic deposits eaten away by the sea. And about a hundred dolfins doing there things around the boot, amazing..

    • You’re right. Canary islands are probably the best bargain for european volcanoholics. You can also rent a car. There is no cheap discount to La Palma though (from France).

    • That was an eye-opener! A must for anyone living in the red zone (550,000 people). The red zone is the expected area of highest risk in the event of a sub-plinian eruption (VEI-4). A plinian eruption (not discussed in detail) would be bad.

    • He mentions earthquakes with a strength of 8 adding this is a very weak earthquake, later a strength of 9 saying this is very likely to occur in the Vesuvius area. Volcanic earthquakes reach a maximum of 4, something on the momentum magnitude scale, so he must be talking of a different scale. Anyone got an idea which? and how much that would be in the scales we normally use?

    • Nope, and statistically speaking we have now entered the period of the year when she almost never erupts. So, somewhere next march it is time to start the clock again.

        • Easy. [censored]!!!

          NOTE: Nothing was actually censored in this comment. I wrote it like that so that the casual reader could insert the applicable expletive from their culture. All cultures have them. It’s the word you utter when everything is going to hell in a handbasket and there is not a thing that you can do to stop it. Additionally, I chose purple for this text comment as a nod to Broly_Jr, of the ridiculously purple hat that he had chosen for his character in an online role playing game that I never participated in. The hat was famous in the clan chatter.

  10. Today…. I was lazy. I got off to a slow and late start on doing my job tickets. Even at that, I was able to pull off a hat trick and got all units into an operable state in under two hours. I even managed to get a karmic bonus. (that’s when you get to witness karma being issued upon a person who has treated you like shit for no reason) My karmic payback moment was watching the target freaking his arse off trying to deal with a summons. It seemed that his organization had been “served.” Which is a proper payback for being a class “A” jerk in the past. “Best-o-luck asshat!”

    Anyway, I felt that I deserved a bit-o-celebration for gettting the week done on a high note despite a bad outlook. So, I went and picked up some beer and sausages.for the grill. While in the checkout line, a rather cute 20 something working the register was lamenting what she should major in with the bag boy… also a student. After they traded comments while I patiently waited, I pipped up, “Why don’t you try geology?” She asked where it’s taught, UWF or Pensacola St College. I responded, it doewn’t matter, whichever teaches it. Then she asked why. I reponded, “I follow volcanoes and watch their activity, it’s fascinating/” Besides, you can actually use your interest in chemistry for petrological analysis to find out how and where the rock formed. I then paid my bill and told her to have a nice day.

    So, if she listens to this scruffy old man in the checkout line, there may be another geologist in training. Who knows.

  11. Look at this page, a wealth of information, but in japanese.
    Click the 3th orange row for 17 scentific papers about sakurajima till end of 2012. I can’t read that stuff , But atleast most of the figures/ graphfs are undertittled in english.
    So since 2010 sakurajima turns out as a VEI2 every year since in 2010. About 8 million tons of ash a year.
    DrRE 25000kg/m^3. So about 3-4000m^3 of ash. From inflation and mogi, it turns out aira inflated by about 0.1 km^3 of fresh magma from 1996 till 2012.

    • If I remember correctly… Sakurajima is one of the volcanoes that Mogi studied when he came up with his model.

      Others have done refinements to it, using different chamber shapes and such, but his simple spherical model seems to be right on the money more times than it is not. (It’s also the only one that I have half a chance of working through, no natch, I like it :D)

  12. This post is about hazards… I’ll add one more. Altered rock.

    Altered rock used to be this solid material that was placed down as a volcano grew. The alteration is usually from the action of acids that come about from CO2 and SO2 (and others) that form when they react with water. (either meteoric or from H2O vapor) (note, meteoric is just a fancy term for rain).

    Over time, the acids convert the rock to various clays. In doing so, the rock is weakened, and in the right circumstances can become entrained into lahars. or cause them when the edifice fails. Mt Ranier comes to mind.

    Image from Resources and Hazards of Hydrothermal Systems in Cascades Volcanoes → USGS

    • And while I’m at it….

      Bentonite (clay) is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate, essentially impure clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. …

      Bentonite usually forms from weathering of volcanic ash, most often in the presence of water.

      I bring this up because I use food grade Bentonite to clarify my apple cider. After the yeast settles, there will still be a murkiness in the cider. Mixing Bentonite in and stiring it so that it fully clouds the mix, then corking it back up and letting it set for a couple of day will yield a sparkling clear cider. You can then draw it off into your containers.

      Additionally, Industrial Bentonite is used in drilling mud for well operations. In solution, it can be quite dense and helps in keeping control of the well pressures.

      • Montmorillonite was what was used historically as an ion exchange media to soften water before the invention of synthetic resins in the 40’s.

      • While searching around for the answer to one of Alan’s riddles, I came across a lot of bentonite in the UK. The $64,000 question (unanswered) which accompanied the bentonite in the geology book was where was the original volcano(es).

        BTW anyone heard from Alan recently?

    • Not bad for a scruffy old man in the checkout line eh? (ref my September 28, 2013 at 00:19 comment)

      And that is “old” in the comparative sense. She was probably about 20 or 21. I’m past 50 and having stuff turn gray that I didn’t even know I had.

      Side note. I saw the world’s most pissed off woman today. She was pushing a cart towards the meat display and I was in the aisle looking for sauerkraut. I nodded and said “Hi” as she went by, having moved to one side since she appeared to be purpose driven. She just scowled and kept on going. Sure, I can understant the not talking to strangers bit, but that lady seem pissed the “f” off. Whoever the object of her scorn actually is, I feel pity for them.

      There was another customer walking nearby, and at first I thought that they were together. The body language between the two seemed to indicate that he didn’t want to be within arms reach of her should she decide to take a swing. Evidently he was getting the same vibe from her. They separated and never talked to each other, so they may have been separate parties. If so, it wasn’t just me that felt that she was someone to stand back from.

      • There are a lot of women suffering from Tourettes. Since they are “ladies” (courtesy of gender, not upbringing or behaviour), they get away with it. My former mother in law was such a one. Accompanying her to Tesco or for a day in their beach hut was quite an educational experience in expletives and unladylike behaviour. Imagine Hyacith Bucket with the vocabulary of a navvy and the temper of ferret and you get the picture.

  13. Not much time now and thanking Spica for 3 highly interesting articles!!! Very well done! 🙂

    On Mudcanoes: in one of the newspapers linked to above there was an article from 15 Sept. I think, stating that the analysis of the gas had given ca 80% of CO2 an 20% mainly Methane. They are brought about by a drilling program that a local oil/gas company had done many years ago. I couldnt find the page again, please double check the facts.

  14. Very interesting series Spica, I like it.

    Meanwhile Balochistan keeps shaking:
    On Saturday another massive aftershock has struck the Awaran area. USGS reports a preliminary Magnitude of 6.8, EMSC 7.0 and Geofon 6.6. This means that everything which was still standing upright in the disaster zone would likely be grounded.
    The epicenter region is the same then the mainshock on Tuesday. Preliminary depth is reported as 14 km. As the earthquake is an aftershock, the same depth is almost certain as the mainshock = a horror scenario for this region.

    Update 08:23 UTC : The current aftershock was felt less than the mainshock because the magnitude was “only” M6.8 compared to M7.7 on Tuesday. The very shallow depth of 14 to 20 km (differs from agency to agency) makes the earthquake less felt in a wider radius (like Karachi and the Emirates) but can be very destructive in the epicenter area. The earthquake type is a devastating one too, the main acceleration is horizontal which makes houses and infrastructure who have not been build with earthquakes in mind will collapse easily.

      • NO! You should NOT switch travel plans. Just buy a warmer Jacket 😉 I ll ask what my friend at Skywarn think of if. Those long term prognosis is often very unsecured. Colder winters dont disagree with global warming. Austria for example will be colder in winter because we should get the same climate Moskau ( Moskow?) has, Global warning means more extreme and we most certainly saw such behavior.. colder winter extremely hot summers. Dont remind me of 6 weeks this summer, one could not sleep, it was simply just tooooooo hot. Austria never had 40 degrees before, ever since temperatures have been recorded, this summer we broke the record.

      • Actually, the trend seems to be that we are having normal winters (they have not been colder than usual) and severely hotter summers.
        I would go, you will have a blast Renato!

      • Re: Coldest Winter. Despite the wishes of some who desire vindication with regards to the similarities to the Maunder Minimum and the current Solar funk, nothing seems to be out of sorts.

        (Disclosure: I am one of the people seeking that vindication, but weather is like a cranky volcano. It will do what it wants to do, when it’s ready to do it, and no amount of wishful thinking will change that. And, it doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about anyones model)

  15. Hello. Longtime lurker here, love the site. Am just asking re the thread above about holidays in the Canaries. I am hoping to make my first visit later this year or early next and remember a thread from ?about a year ago where someone was asking which island was best to visit and there was a very long thread with lots of useful information and hints for volcanoizing there. Can any kind soul point me in the right direction to find it again? I’ve tried looking but to no avail……

    Maybe an idea for the Dragons – start an index page for volcano holidays?

    Thanks to everyone involved in this fantastic site. I read it every day.

    • Welcome, glad you stepped out of the shadow.
      The idea of somehow making a page or collect links to posts with infos about ideal volcanic holiday destinations is nice.. i will think about how to bring such a thing in.

      I have been to Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. For a volcanoholic Lanzarote is the best island to me.
      I can provide more info later, but a post on Timanfaya is planned anyway.

  16. Hi basil and welcome 😀
    I don’t think I can direct you to the particular comment thread, but these give some ideas for the most volcanologic of the Islands except for El Hierro; Lanzarote with Timanfaya National Park, Tenerife with El Teide, and La Palma, the most active of the Islands in recent times…
    Hope that helps, these along with the whole archive can be found in the Dragons Hoard menu…
    If you’ve got particular questions please just holler…

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