The Volcanoes of the Three Sisters Area, Oregon

Fig 1. The Three Sisters volcanoes in Oregon from left to right they are Charity (South Sister), Hope (Middle Sister) and Faith (North Sister). Below South Sister is scenic Green Lake and on her flank the massive Newberry lava flow. (CVO)

Fig 1. The Three Sisters volcanoes in Oregon from left to right they are Charity (South Sister), Hope (Middle Sister) and Faith (North Sister). Below South Sister is scenic Green Lake and on her flank the massive Newberry lava flow. (CVO)

Situated on the Cascade plateau, the region known as the Tumalo Volcanic Center was active in the Pleistocene epoch with explosive eruptions between 700,000 and 170,000 years ago that left extensive pyroclastic deposits on which basaltic and basaltic andesitic lava flows formed a great number of shields. One of these eruptions resulted in tephra deposits as thick as 13 meters (42 feet) composed largely of fist-sized and smaller white pumice clasts which is exposed in numerous pumice quarries.

Tephra deposits from this event have even been found in northern California and in cores from the northeast Pacific Ocean. Over the past 170,000 years, several complex volcanoes grew consisting of  a shield topped by an andesitic stratocone. The most well known of these are the Three Sisters; Faith, Hope and Charity counting from North, but they are far from the only ones of interest in this area and there are also several young shield volcanoes and buttes, making the history and evolution of the area quite convoluted.

Fig 2. Broken Top volcano. The extent of glacial erosion is clearly visible in this photograph from the south. (fr.mobilytrip.com)

Fig 2. Broken Top volcano. The extent of glacial erosion is clearly visible in this photograph from the south. (fr.mobilytrip.com)

Probably the oldest of these complex volcanoes is Broken Top, even if it’s exact age in relation to North Sister is not known. It is situated some 6 km (3.7 miles) ESE of South Sister with an elevation of 2,797 m (9,175 ft) and a prominence 663 m (2,175 ft). Broken Top is an extinct, heavily glacially eroded stratovolcano consisting of predominantly basaltic andesite with interbedded andesite, dacite, and rhyodacite.

Its initial eruptions of basaltic andesite lava contributed to a base shield. Erratic eruptions continued afterward, erupting more silicic lavas. Much of the current cone is occupied by flows of andesite, dacite, rhyodacite and pyroclastic flows extending from the subordinate shield volcano to the summit. Eruptive activity stopped roughly 100,000 years ago, and glacial erosion has reduced the volcano’s cone to where its contents are exposed on both sides of the central spine. The volcanic crater, now 0.8 km (½ mile) in diameter and heavily eroded, was most likely formed by subsidence.

Fig 3. North Sister, Faith. Her heavily eroded state is instantly obvious as well as the intrusive plug domes. (traditionalmountaineering.org)

Fig 3. North Sister, Faith. Her heavily eroded state is instantly obvious as well as the intrusive plug domes. (traditionalmountaineering.org)

Second oldest is the North Sister, Faith. With an elevation of 3,074 m (10,085 ft) and a prominence of 831 (2,725 ft), North Sister is a considered to be a shield volcano consisting primarily of basaltic andesite. It is estimated that it last erupted over 100,000 years ago and is considered to be extinct.

Fig 4. Tumalo Mountain (skiingthebackcountry.com)

Fig 4. Tumalo Mountain (skiingthebackcountry.com)

The North Sister possesses more emplacement dikes than any similar Cascade peak. Many dikes were pushed aside by the intrusion of a 300-metre (980 ft)-wide plug dome that now forms the mountain’s summits; Prouty Peak and the South Horn. The presence of these plug domes argue that the classification of North Sister as a shield volcano is erroneous and that she too is a complex volcano. The remainder of the peak is chiefly loose debris held in place by the dike system. It is heavily eroded and considered the most difficult and by far most dangerous peak to ascend.

If Broken Top and North sister are to be considered to belong to a first period, the second saw the creation of Tumalo Mountain and Middle Sister. Tumalo Mountain is a 2,371 m (7,779 ft) high shield volcano located 15 km (9.5 miles) SE of South Sister. Ice Age glaciers carved a large cirque into the northeast flank of the mountain, producing a bowl which is popular with local backcountry skiers. There is not much information available and she seems to be more or less unstudied.

Fig 5. Being the smallest of the Three Sisters, Middle Sister or Faith has suffered some glacial erosion that has cut away parts of its Eastern face. (http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov)

Fig 5. Being the smallest of the Three Sisters, Middle Sister or Faith has suffered some glacial erosion that has cut away parts of its Eastern face. (http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov)

Middle Sister is the smallest and most poorly studied of the sisters. It is a 3,062 m (10,047 ft) high stratovolcano with a prominence of just 344 m (1,127 ft) consisting primarily of basalt but has also erupted andesite, dacite, and rhyodacite. The mountain is shaped as a cone that has lost its east side to glacial erosion. Being less than 55,000 years old and thought to have last erupted approximately 50,000 years ago, it is considered to be extinct.However, the most recent lava flows at Middle Sister are dated to 14,000 years ago, more or less contemporary with South Sister.

Fig 6. South Sister or Charity from across scenic Green Lake looking west. (glaciers.pdx.edu)

Fig 6. South Sister or Charity from across scenic Green Lake looking west. (glaciers.pdx.edu)

At 3,157 m (10,358 ft) with a prominence of 1,706 m (5,598 ft), South Sister is not only the youngest of the Three Sisters but also the tallest. It is a stratovolcano overlying an older shield structure no more than 50,000 years old and thus contemporary with Middle Sister South Sister last erupted about 2,000 years ago. Its eruptive products range from basaltic andesite to rhyolite and rhyodacite.

The first period of activity, the Rock Mesa eruptive cycle, spread tephra from flank vents from the south and southwest flanks, followed by a thick rhyolite lava flow. The second cycle, the Devils Hill eruptive cycle, was similar but was caused by the intrusion of a dike of new silicic magma that erupted from about 20 vents on the southeast side and from a smaller line on the north side. The final eruptive cycle which ended about 2000 years ago, produced several thick and glassy rhyodacite to rhyolite lava flows.

South Sister has an uneroded summit crater about 400m (0.25 miles) in diameter that holds a small crater lake , Teardrop Pool, the highest lake in Oregon.

Fig 7. Mount Bachelor. The present-day development into a popular ski resort with multiple pistes on her slopes are evident, yet her resent volcanic origin is unmistakable. (columbusskiclub.org)

Fig 7. Mount Bachelor. The present-day development into a popular ski resort with multiple pistes on her slopes are evident, yet her resent volcanic origin is unmistakable. (columbusskiclub.org)

16 km (10 miles) SSE of South Sister, the 2,764 m (9,068 ft) high Mount Bachelor with a prominence 812 m (2,665 ft) was formed between 11,000 and 15,000 years ago as a shield volcano but was later capped by a stratovolcano as the eruptions apparently became more explosive and silicic over time. Composed mainly of basalt and basaltic andesite, it is the youngest prominent volcano in the Three Sisters area and, surprisingly, the best studied. It last erupted between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago and is entirely covered with ash from the catastrophic eruption of Mount Mazama about 6,850 years ago. Today, Mount Bachelor is a popular ski resort.

The summit of Mount Bachelor consists of a cluster of small pyroclastic cones on a line to the Northwest. There are also several shallow collapse craters, low blocky domes, and several lava plugs in the cirque on the north side.  The upper flanks are covered with lava flows many of which emerge from lava tubes and display well preserved levees and flow fronts. Several small parasitic shields on the south and north flanks give the cone its present-day north-south elongation. There is no geothermal activity.

The 24 km (15 mile) long Mount Bachelor volcanic chain, southeast of South Sister, consists of Mount Bachelor itself and a series of cinder cones, lava flows and three shield volcanoes. The northernmost shield is capped by the steep-sided summit cone of Mount Bachelor. In total, Mount Bachelor comprises some 30 to 50 cu km (7 to 12 cu mi) of material, mostly in the form of lava flows. The eruptive activity of the chain can be divided into four main periods:

The first period occurred approximately 18,000 – 15,000 years ago during glacial retreat. The activity was concentrated to the central part of the chain and built a shield volcano; Sheridan Mountain. Near Sparks Lake, a group of vents formed beneath glacial ice and interacted with the ice to form hyaloclastite deposits and thick lava flows constrained by glacial ice. The resulting steep sided plateau, not unlike a tuya, is capped by Talapus Butte and Katsuk Butte.

The second period of eruptive activity was along the chain of scoria cones and lava flows that extends from the south side of Sheridan Mountain to the explosion crater at the south end of the chain.

During the third period, the shield volcano which is capped by Kwohl Butte and the shield that underlies Mount Bachelor were built and towards the end, the summit cone of Mount Bachelor was extruded. The oldest glacial moraines recognized on Mount Bachelor are approximately 12,000 years old so the cone had nearly attained its present size by then. The moraines are overlain by the youngest lava flows of the third episode.

The fourth and last eruptive period occurred approximately 8,000 to 10,000 years ago and produced a scoria cone and lava flows on the lower north flank of Mount Bachelor. All activity ended before 6,850 BP since tephra from the climactic eruption of Mount Mazama is found on all deposits of the Bachelor chain.

Fig 8. Belknap Crater and an associated, ca 1,500 year-old lava flow where nothing seems to grow. (mountain-forecast.com)

Fig 8. Belknap Crater and an associated, ca 1,500 year-old lava flow where nothing seems to grow. (mountain-forecast.com)

The youngest volcanic mountain of the Three Sisters area is 2,096 m (6,876 ft) tall Belknap Crater, 13 km (8 mi) NNW of  North Sister. It is thought to be the result of three principal eruptive episodes between 3,000 and 1,500 BP. Belknap volcano is a small shield volcano with a capping cinder cone and is a Holocene example of the process which built the High Cascade Platform during the Pleistocene.

The broad shield of Belknap is 8 km (5 mi) in diameter and estimated to be just over 500 m (1,700) feet in maximum thickness with a total volume of  5.5 cu km (1.3 cu mi). The summit cone of the volcano surmounts what is probably a core of cinder cones which intermingle with peripheral lavas. The main bulk of ash from Belknap, which has been traced over an area exceeding 100 square miles, was then ejected from a now disappeared large south crater. Some time before 1500 BP, basaltic lava flowed eastwards up to 11 km (7 mi) from their vents.

Approximately 1,500 years ago, basaltic andesite flows issued from vents at the north and south bases of the cone. Lava poured 12 miles to the west and ash was ejected from the northernmost of two summit craters.

Fig 9. False-colour satellite image of the Three Sisters area naming the major features. (wired.com)

Fig 9. False-colour satellite image of the Three Sisters area naming the major features. (wired.com)

A number of other eruptions also occurred in the general area during roughly the same time period.

To the south are several cinder cones and associated lava flows, including Collier, Four-in-One, and Yapoah cones. Four-in-One Cone has been dated at about 2,000 years old while Collier is dated at about 1,600 years old. About 1,300 years ago (all by C14 measurements), a series of small spatter cones formed between Belknap and Blue Lake.

North of these, a phreatic explosion blasted out the crater which is today occupied by Blue Lake.

Future activity. In 2000 satellite imagery showed that there was a tectonic uplift 4.8 km (3 miles) west of the South Sister of up to 51 mm (2”) per year in the early 2000s.

The ground likely began to bulge in late 1997, when magma started to pool about 6.4 km (4 miles) underground. In March 2004, an earthquake swarm with ca. 1000 earthquakes within 48 hours occurred with the epicentre in the area of the uplift.

By 2007 the uplift had slowed somewhat, though the area was still considered potentially volcanically active.

In February 2013 scientists determined that the uplift had slowed to a rate of about 7.6 mm (0.3 inches) per year.

Even though this episode of seismic unrest following a magmatic emplacement is mostly over, future episodes and further emplacements are quite likely. Whether or not this will lead to an eruption in the coming decades or centuries is uncertain.

10. Insar image showing the inflating area 5 km west of South Sister 1995-2001. (uidaho.edu)

10. Insar image showing the inflating area 5 km west of South Sister 1995-2001. (uidaho.edu)

HENRIK

More information available at:

http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Sisters/framework.html

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100 thoughts on “The Volcanoes of the Three Sisters Area, Oregon

    • You have a further reading link at the bottom of the article, you can also dig out more info from some of the image links.

  1. I find it interesting how all the volcanoes in this area go through a very clear progression of being basaltic shields, then evolving into more silicic volcanoes. I’m actually surprised there aren’t any small calderas from the older extinct volcanoes.

    My guess for why there hasn’t been any caldera forming eruptions is that the magma source seems to be migrating south progressively. So just as the magma starts to become more silicic, the magma source migrates away from that volcano, eventually punching through and forming a new shield.

  2. Another Hamarinn quake.
    Wednesday
    06.11.2013 17:26:36 64.485 -17.754 3.7 km 1.7 56.51 2.7 km E of Hamarinn

  3. There used to be some good mineral collecting for osumilite at Obsidian Cliffs in the area west of the Three Sisters. The osumilite is found in a rhyolite flow along with phlogopite, laihunite, tridymite, and fayalite. It makes wonderful micro specimens. It is now a wilderness area.

    If you have never been in this area of the Cascades, it is well worth the trip as it is beautiful country.

  4. Once again that familiar pattern of activity up to ~1000-1500 years ago, then nothing. Is it a real pause in activity, or a dating artifact?

  5. “Ich bin ein Berliner”

    Neanderthals Roamed With Elk, Bison East of Berlin, Find Shows

    Contrary to the standard view of Neanderthals being dim witted knuckle draggers… I am of the belief that these tough as nails people were the ultimate survivors. Their time on Earth as a species will remain much longer than ours for quite a while… and I’m pretty sure they were not jelly dough-nuts.

    And… their DNA is still walking around in some of us.

    • Yep, Neanderthal is likely in my woodpile. Wife and I have
      Morton’s foot. Common among we who have native American
      ancestors. Broad foot with short metarsal bones. Neanderthal
      had it too. I Northern Europe, central Asia….

    • So far at least western europeans have proved DNA from Neanderthals.

      It is amazing how fast science have shifted from the Idiot-paradigm, to the Brute-genius paradigm. In reallity we are talking about a group who left Africa generally a short time before the latter group. And when they met up they seem to have done 1 of the 2 things people do when they meet up with strangers. 1 being having a party and then loads of sex, and 2 being beating each other to death.

    • @Lurking:
      You will probably find it a hoot that “Ich bin ein Berliner” did not mean what he thought it did. What he actually said was “I am a pastry from Berlin”…

  6. I gotta say, that lava flow in the first picture of Three Sisters is absolutely enormous. It almost looks like the lava flow IS half of the mountain itself. For all the talk of big eruptions, we very rarely get to see a large viscous lava flow like the one that’s seen here.

    • I agree the lava flow is really huge. Here is a similar picture I took from the top of the Teide in Tenerife.

      look on the right and left of the picture. The photo is taken from altitude 3600 m and the plain is around 2200 m The width of the lava flow on the right is about 300 m. The straight part is about 1 km. The lava flow is quite old and weathered.

      You can get the original commented picture on

      https://www.thinglink.com/scene/440569387607392256

      DragonEdit: Removed loads of extra code, now it is working. Thou art now Linked 😉

  7. OT: Pragmatic doomage musing.

    C2012/S1 Ison is approaching perihelion. There never has been a possibility of the comet to hit earth. Once it makes its swing past the sun, it will be leaving an area where the surface temperature could have easily reached 606 °C. The odds of it fractureing and breaking into smaller fragments is quite high. Even though could turn into a shotgun blast, the trajectory takes it well above the ecliptic, making an encounter with earth pretty damn near impossible. However, there is another problem.

    The inbound track for Ison passed through the Earths orbital track… more importantly, the track that we are going to take. Any dust from Ison’s passage will likely show up as a pretty intense meteor shower. This may turn out to be an anual event, much like the other showers the Earth has throughout the year…. All of which are most likely coupled to the debris field from an old comet. For example, the Orionids are coupled with the well known Halley’s Comet. Examination of the orbital elements finger Halley as the most likely suspect.

    Now… here is where it gets a bit spooky. Right now, Ison is within the range that some other comets have broken up at. C/1897 U1 Perrrine begane to break up at 1.6+ AU from the sun, 20F/1913 S1 Westphal, about 1.475 AU. Nothing spectacular has happened with ISON other than some oddities with its gas and dust production… and the possible formation of a second “tail.” All of those point to something changing with the coments dynamics, whoich would be expected if it were to soon start breaking up. The danger is if something fell off of is and is drifting along behind it, and happens to be in the way when Earth gets to that part of it’s orbit. If so, you could see a repeat of the Recent Russian Meteor, or a Tunguska Sort of event.

    I used to, but no longer have the skills to work out the math behind the danger periods. But based on the JPL Ison page, we should be in the middle of the “watch yer arse” period in early January.

    An adept fiddler of orbital data would take a look at the period of known meteor showers and work out the normal distribution of those meteor streams. Applying that to Ison’s track would give you a reasonably accurate estimation of the period when Earth will be subject to the up coming meteor shower, and when the greatest threat of a stray large chuck would be.

    • *chunk.

      I don’t think a chuck or chuck roast has anything to do with it.

      Right now I’m laying here pondering the news report from this morning. It seems that a man north of here, was released on $50,000 bond after being arrested. His son had just died in a single vehicle accident and he showed up on scene… evidently having issue with EMS and the highway patrol.

      Nothing like having your world go to shit all at once eh?

      • I guess the part that is keeping me up, is immagining the sheer horror of it all. As some of you know, I’ve done time as a fire fighter, and worked some pretty F’d up extrication scenarios. …so, I have an Idea of what the scene was probably like.

        Pure supposition on my part, and hoperully I wrong. My guess is that EMS couldn’t make access to the patient. If the extrication crew is delayed, or not present, there is only so much EMS can do without putting themselves and the patient in more danger. God I hope thats not what it was.

      • One of the things this county has done, is move to some weird assed paid department. Dunno what that entails, But I’ve see equipment moved around to different stations… places you used to never see them staged at. Some insurance companies have threatened to raise some rates due to slower average response times now that its a paid system.

        I do know that under the old system, Cantonement would have been on that call like stink on shit, and my old department would have been their backup. We ran with the Hurst tool as well as a airbags and a full cribbing kit. There wasnt much we couldnt get into or lift if needed.

    • Thank you, very interesting to see that something so incredibly sticky as rhyolitic lava could move so long time after the eruption ended.

    • ‘Dr Burton added that the most likely place for the next rhyolitic volcanic eruption was near Mono lake, in northern California – a popular ski area.’

      Thanks widget – just noticed this little snippet of a prediction in the BBC article!

    • No, it’s not me… but it is quite eloquent. However, I have to ask one question…. “Then why are you selling it?”

      Down here in NW FL, there are a certain breed of people who hang an artificial scrotum, usually chrome plated, to their rear bumper. Some just use a pair of large hex nuts. It’s a statement of just how bad ass they think their truck is. If I remember correctly, the state has made that illegal, much like the “Eat Shit” or “Shit Happens” bumper stickers. I have been thinking of getting a custom front plate for my truck that says “This ain’t Nascar and you aren’t Dale Earnheart” I love watching those eager drivers make a poor lane choice and wind up stuck over in that lane as the line of rigs that I am patient enough to wait behind motor on by.

      As for the 4 liter in the Jeep, an ex neighbor had one about that size…. but had shoehorned a 454 Rat motor into it. He usually cranked it up on Saturday Morning just to keep the fluids circulated. Good lord was that thing loud.

  8. Here is a “flyable” 3D model of seismicity from 5 Aug to 30 Oct 2013 under Eastern Sicily. Size and color of the spheres are equal to ML (less than 0, 1, 2 and so on). See the column in the South-West for reference.
    https://sketchfab.com/show/828733d81ef047e7b8803177c6d9799d
    The data is from INGV (http://www.ct.ingv.it/ufs/analisti/catalogolist.php) and the digital elevation model from NOAA (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/gdas/gd_designagrid.html). I made the model in Blender.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Maximal earthquake depth is 153 km to scale, the elevation map is not calibrateted though.

  9. Some footage for Sinabung. At the very beginning, there is a view of the crater and some ash venting (?)
    Then there are views of PFs and some zooming on the valleys. One of the PF is clearly seen and some debris avalanches also. Is it me or the crater seems to have changed shape ?

  10. In the last thread, Edward showed us how a very complex (volcanic) situation can be explained in an easy-to-understand way. So impressing that I would like to suggest the introduction of a brand new expression, being:
    “The Edwardian Explanation”!

  11. The Discovery Channel has a new 8-part documentary entitled “How The Earth Works”. I have seen the first 3 which have dealt with volcanoes. Hawaii, Iceland and last night’s episode was on the Campi Flefgrei. The theme of these documentaries is to look at the past, present and what could happen in the future. Although much has been talked about Campi Flefgrei on this blog, I think this is the first visual exposure I have had. The thing that I found really chilling was when they scuba dived in the bay. From the thousands of years of inflating and deflating, what used to be above the water is now below the water – like an ancient town. There are beautiful ceramic tile floors that look like they were installed yesterday, statues standing erect like they are watching over the town. But the chilling part is that everywhere you look, there are fumeroles and gas bubbling up from the volcano. The dragon truly is alive and breathing. If you can get these documentaries where you live, it is well worth watching.

  12. Has anyone else here seen BBC Volcano Hell documentary? How accurate is the program?
    My opinion: I think that it is an informative program.
    What do others think of Bernard Chouet and his studies?

    Here is the link for those that are interested.

    All that I can say is that I learned a bunch.

    I don’t think his model could work on every volcano such as Hekla, but than I could be wrong.

    • I think Long Period events is a pretty good sign from many volcanoes. Etna did for instance suffer from them during the last couple of days.
      LPs are not the end all sign that the movie portays, but it is one of the clues that a volcano is getting ready to burst. Of course together with magmatic earthquakes, popcorn, GPS showing inflation, mountain strain, gasses… And not a single one of them will give you more than an hour or two in the case of Hekla as you know.
      To answer your question, it will be a good sign that a volcano has severe indigestion and that the pressure is rising.

    • Hi

      Chouet has published quite a few articles on identifying different types of quakes and “predicting” eruptions. Quite fundamental work. Each volcano will have its personnal signature as the geometry, type of lavas (chemistry and gases) are different but I think his works are really worthy. Also McNutt has done quite a few good articles on a similar subject.

    • Just watched the programme. Thank you for the link.

      LP events are very important in predicting volcanic eruptions, confirming that magma or gases are moving causing resonance. But to predict an eruption you still need the gas and deformation measurements. – as can be seen from our debates on El Hierro.

  13. Morning everyone:
    Not sure if that’s been already published.

    Perhaps it sounds a bit too Nibiruistic for VC readers…

    DragonEdit: Unbeknownst to Renato the link that lead to the article in Indonesian Business Times contained a rather nasty virus. The virus was probably hidden in one of the adverts on the page. I felt that it was safer to remove the link to protect the computers of those who do not have a state of the art anti-viral program (my computer was slammed shut to protect it). The function of the virus was to take out the graphics driver.

    • The article contained several errors. I would like to point out that Tobas eruption was not the largest on earth, and also that Toba has had several eruption after the big one, and that it will most assuredly erupt soon again. It will though not do a supereruption in the next few years.

      • No worries Renato!
        I know it was not on purpose, it is something that anyone could have done. I am just happy to see that your computer survived. I was mostly worried about that.
        I guess that the advertisement that was spreading the virus was not showing when you opened the link yourself. It was the worst I have seen sofar, I have pretty good protection and still my computer had to slam everything into shutdown to save itself. I wish I had the time to do a print screen of the message Kaspersky gave me. It read “Virus attack! Panic shutdown of your computer. Attempting to save your system from final crash.” Then the entire computer went black.

    • Thanks to the DragonEdit who stopped the thing. And Renato, is it possible to report the link you found at Fb, so it can be removed (if not already done)?

  14. It seems like IMO is having some sort of updating problem on the Earthquake site. Not even what looks like a small earthquake swarm under Vatnajökull appears on the list.

  15. Happy Friday, everyone. I just read an interesting article: Volcanoes in Maine — yes, Maine — among Earth’s biggest
    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/volcanoes-maine-yes-maine-among-earths-biggest-8C11511692?lite&lite=obinsite
    Henrik, this was a great post. Image No. 6 literally took my breath away. So beautiful. I never knew there were so many volcanoes – just thought they were wrinkles in the continent – mountains. So I went searching for just how many volcanoes there are. Of course, there is no real answer as it depends on what you consider to be a volcano. However, I did see the number 1,500 kicked around a lot.
    T.G. McCoy: More news to me regarding the toe thing. But, I did have a Morton’s neuroma surgically removed. It is a noncancerous thickening of nerve tissue between the 3rd and 4th toes. I guess I had my “Neanderthal” removed. Probably got it dancing in platforms back in the day.

  16. Funny how I thought we might have another event at Kverkfjöll a day or 2 ago.

    Sakurajima, I’m under the impression that long period events if they haven’t started there might be going on. But, what do I know?

    Aren’t more than one of the craters smoking now?

    • This looks like a LP event at Sakurajima to me. http://www.vnet.bosai.go.jp/strace/view.php?orgid=03&netid=02&stcd=V.SKRD&tm=2013110821&comp=U&type=1H&area=030243 – This is also from today for reference.

      Personally, I don’t think the LP events come from the very small upper magma chamber that’s responsible for the vulcanian and strombolian eruptions. I would guess it’s more likely that the LP events are coming from the middle chamber, but that’s just a guess on my part.

      I know that from looking in the past, most of the small or even larger eruptions at SakuraJima aren’t coincidental with LP events. If I had to take a wild guess, I would say that the LP events would occur when the lower Aira chamber transfers magma to the middle chamber (which seems to offer a steady supply to the small erupting upper chamber).

      With that said, this is all just guesswork, and I’m not an expert at any of these things.

    • Sakurajima: Two days ago I watched her for several hours. It was obvious that more than one crater was steaming, at least the Showa crater and the crater right behind it on the Kyoto cam were steaming at the same time. But all the steaming made it difficult to see what really was happening; the whole island looked foggy and/or cloudy. Unfortunately the screenshots do not show the steam motion.

      • Sakura-jima has many fumeroles and does steam from more than one crater. It is easier to see the gas emissions in some weather, especially when it is cold and damp.

  17. Slightly OT: I mentioned a while back during the series of posts about the Philippines Volcanoes, but I really don’t think there is a worse place in the world for natural disasters, which is a shame for such a beautiful country. I really think it’s pretty impressive how good they are at shaking off the natural disasters they have, but you gotta consider how big of a deterrent the frequent disasters that occur in the country are towards making it into a more developed economy.

    1. The phillipines, especially Manila, the largest city in the area is notorious for flooding catastrophically. http://www.informationng.com/2013/06/storm-enhanced-rain-floods-metro-manila.html

    2. Relating to VolcanoCafe, the Phillipines is a highly active volcanic country. Pinatubo did it’s thing in 1992, and Taal will cause large-scale damage in the future as well. Mayon is a disaster waiting to happen, and there are many other active volcanoes in the area. Most of these will likely erupt in non-deadly fashion, but it’s still another thing to consider overall.

    3. Earthquakes are extremely common here (similar to Japan). Just this year there was a 7.1 quake that killed over 100 and caused tons of damage. http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/14/world/asia/philippines-earthquake/

    4. If the three previous problems weren’t enough, the Phillipines are probably more vulnerable to devastating hurricanes / cyclones than even Florida is.

    The reason I post this is because there is currently a category 5 hurricane bearing down directly on the Philippines, which is much stronger than anything in recent memory. According to news, it has potential to be the strongest ever recorded.

    “With sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts as strong as 380 kph (235 mph), Haiyan may be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in recorded history. It will take further analysis after the storm passes to establish whether it is a record.”

    The kicker? They are still recovering from the M7.1 earthquake that struck less than a month ago, and the flooding that took place in Manila not even a half-year back.

    Hopefully everyone will be safe there, but I can certainly say I’m glad I’m not in the Philippines right now.

    • I have to echo your sentiment. The closest I have been to a Cat 5 is 169 miles inland as the eye rolled across Pearl Mississippi. WLBT had just gotten their new whizz bang weather radar gizmo working and they kept putting the video feed up on the TV. Knowing what I know about radar and weather and remembering the images… that bugger was still well formed even after rolling ashore. That was Camille. A few months later we went through South Mississippi and the place was still torn to shit and back. I didn’t see that much destruction until Ivan (Cat 3) rolled through Pensacola in 2004. Ivan had previously been a Cat 5 and retained much of the structure (and mass), though it had lost the intensity. Storm surge of 18 feet is easily possible with a storm that size.

      Best of Luck P.I.

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