Interview

Just posting to keep my fans informed that I did a short interview about the fact that I like volcanoes over at the Reef Tank, a blog about marine interests and marine science.

Accretionary Wedge: Time Warp

This month’s Accretionary Wedge is the time warp! What time in geologic history would I like to visit (no livable conditions required) with this magical new technology? There are so many! How can I choose??

This fancy moon picture was on Wikipedia!

This fancy moon picture was on Wikipedia!

With the space warp component included, this is especially difficult. Do I want to see if a plume starts at the core-mantle boundary? (yes!) Do I want to see what happens to plumes and/or subducted slabs at the transition zone? (yes!) What about the production of a LIP, or a major caldera-forming eruption? (yes! yes!) But although I’m really a volcanophile, I think I feel a little more traditionally geologic about this. I want to see a mass extinction — a big, catastrophic, geologic-record-punctuating event. The formation of the moon would be really fun, too, but it’s not as controversial anymore (to most people). There are still poorly-understood mass extinctions — in particular, the biggest one of them all: the P-T. I want to see who’s right and who’s wrong, and I want to see what happened, all for myself.

Though I suppose it would be damn depressing to watch all that death. Maybe I should stick with the moon?

May 18, 29 years ago

Erik Klemetti at Eruptions reminds us that today is the 29th anniversary of Mount St. Helens erupting. There are some great pictures up at Wired, and this video of the newscast following the eruption:

Awesome

Photograph of lightning from Redoubts 1:20 am, March 28 eruption, courtesy of Bretwood Higman.

Photograph of lightning from Redoubt, 3/28/09, courtesy of Bretwood Higman.

The Volcanism Blog has put up a heads-up about some spectacular Redoubt plume lightning pictures that have gone up at the AVO. I LOVE plume lightning pictures!

Redoubt update

Webcam image from March 23, 2009 19:55:58, Alaska Volcano Observatory

Webcam image from March 23, 2009 19:55:58, Alaska Volcano Observatory

My laptop is being repaired, so I’m internet-less at home right now and a bit behind on the reporting. Eruptions and the Volcanism Blog are on top of this, though, so I suggest you read their excellent posts since yesterday afternoon. I’ll offer a brief summary, based on the information available from the AVO so far: The Hut webcam came back online yesterday afternoon and has provided some good pictures of a sixth explosive blast from Redoubt’s summit. A video recap is available here. There continued to be small eruptive blasts after the first five major ones, and an overflight was conducted yesterday afternoon. There are AVO photos here, some of which show that the increased meltwater caused flooding at the margins of the Drift glacier and mudflows on the upper Drift River. Following the sixth explosive eruption there were more mudflows and also pyroclastic flows on the north flank of the volcano.

Photos of the flooding in Drift Valley and tephra deposits from the eruption of Redoubt Volcano, March 23, 2009 (McGimsey, Game, AVO/USGS)

Photos of the flooding in Drift Valley and tephra deposits from the eruption of Redoubt Volcano, March 23, 2009 (McGimsey, Game, AVO/USGS)

Massive flooding in Drift Valley from the eruption of Redoubt Volcano, March 23, 2009 (McGimsey, Game, AVO/USGS)

Massive flooding in Drift Valley from the eruption of Redoubt Volcano, March 23, 2009 (McGimsey, Game, AVO/USGS)

Eruption at Redoubt

NCT EHZ AV

NCT EHZ AV Seismic Station, Mt. Redoubt, March 23, 2009 04:24:35 (AKDT)

After months of elevated activity and waiting for a likely eruption, Redoubt has gone to Color Code RED and had four explosions recorded since last night. The Volcanism Blog has reported quite a few of the details during the night. Ashfall from the 50,000 foot plume should start this morning in affected towns (not expected to include Anchorage). The AVO doesn’t have photos of the eruption up yet, I assume because it’s dark, but there are some great seismics, and there is a good map of the plume on Weather Underground. Ash advisories for locals can be found at NOAA. The eruption appears to be ongoing with continuing strong tremors.

ETA: RSO, the closest seismometer to the summit, stopped transmitting at 4:15am local time. Exciting!

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, March 18, 2009

The Volcanism Blog is reporting on the eruption occurring at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, complete with pictures and a link to a great BBC video. As described in the first link, this is pyroclastic activity interacting with seawater. It is spectacular!!

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