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Volcano thread (1 Viewer)

bjdeming

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After learning that Mount Aso in Japan went off yesterday in spectacular fashion, I thought it might be nice to have a dedicated thread for fire mountains.

Taal had that dramatic eruption in 2020, while Cumbre Vieja has that destruction/debunked "megatsunami" thing going on.

But there are lots of other active volcanoes in the world. And perhaps the most dangerous volcano of all doesn't have the prefix "super" attached to it. It's actually the one that you, and maybe also scientists, don't know is there.

For instance,

  • The unassuming mountain Chaiten wasn't considered an imminent threat until it went Plinian (in the middle of the night) after giving the neighbors just five day's notice that it was an active volcano.
  • Pinatubo was quiet, keeping to itself, and only a lucky combination of coincidences -- described in the book Volcano Cowboys and that Nova documentary about killer volcanoes -- alerted everyone to the impending eruption and kept the casualty count as low as it was in 1991.

This isn't an issue in Alabama and the rest of the South, thankfully, but people do go on vacation and volcanoes create gorgeous scenery that draws tourists.

You can always check with a reliable source like this before making reservations, as well as see what local observatories might have on their websites, but the best protection of all is just knowing that there are volcanoes almost everywhere.

Awareness of that simple fact will help you avoid paralyzing shock if one unexpectedly goes off nearby. And maybe some posts about non-headline-news eruptions in posts here might also give you some tips on what to expect and how to react. Plus volcanoes are really :cool:

Got more vacation pix? Links to live cams? Etc.?

This might also be a good thread to use for debunking "false-news"-style videos, clickbait, and so forth. Not the Daily Express, though; I suspect many of its readers are hip enough to only start worrying when the tabloid stops telling them that Yellowstone is about to blow. (Reality check on that.)

However, volcano anxiety is almost as bad as storm anxiety, so here's also a little therapy to use when needed. ;)

 

bjdeming

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Just for starters, here's the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's webcam page.

And here's Italy's Stromboli -- the namesake for the type of eruption happening on Cumbre Vieja right now -- just doing what it's been doing for at least a thousand years -- and the reaction of someone seeing that for the first time.

 

bjdeming

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Here's a Japan Meteorological Agency news page (Japanese). They mention Mount Aso, which has been active for a while, but it's not updated with the recent news yet. My experience with JMA websites is that it takes a long time for news to get posted. This page is more helpful. They do have webcams of all active volcanoes, but I have a terrible time getting to that page and translating it.

One thing you'll find in trying to follow volcanoes online is that, quite understandably, the most detailed information is given in the local language. For instance, en.vedur.is is very interesting (another weather/volcano agency website, in Iceland), but vedur.is (Icelandic) tends to have the latest news.
 
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bjdeming

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Just keeping an eye on everybody's favorite Scary Volcano; also, this is excellent outreach.

 

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An eruption that happened 109 years ago forced the NWS to issue a SIGMET this week:

ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY INFORMATION STATEMENT
U.S. Geological Survey
Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 10:07 AM AKST (Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 19:07 UTC)KATMAI VOLCANO
(VNUM #312170)
58°16'44" N 154°57'12" W, Summit Elevation 6716 ft (2047 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Strong northwesterly winds in the vicinity of Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes have picked up loose volcanic ash erupted during the 1912 Novarupta-Katmai eruption and carried it to the southeast toward Kodiak Island this morning starting about 9:15 AKST (1815 UTC). The National Weather Service has issued a SIGMET for this low-level event and suggests that the maximum cloud height is 7,000 ft above sea level.

This phenomenon is not the result of recent volcanic activity and occurs during times of high winds and dry snow-free conditions in the Katmai area and other young volcanic areas of Alaska. No eruption is in progress. All of the volcanoes of the Katmai area (Snowy, Griggs, Katmai, Novarupta, Trident, Mageik, Martin) remain at color code GREEN.

Resuspended volcanic ash should be considered hazardous and could be damaging to aircraft and health. For more information on volcanic ash and human health, visit the following website: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/ash/. Official warnings about these ash resuspension events are issued by the National Weather Service: https://www.weather.gov/afc/. Forecasts of airborne ash hazard to aircraft: https://www.weather.gov/aawu/. Volcanic Ash Advisories: https://www.weather.gov/vaac/. Forecasts of ash fall: http://www.weather.gov/afc. Air quality hazards and guidance from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Air Quality: http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Advisories/Index

Granted, the Novarupta/Katmai eruption was a biggy:

 

bjdeming

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Heads up -- there might be an explosive eruption in Iceland soon. Grimsvotn ("Gray Water" in Icelandic) is heating up. What tends to happen here is that ice in the caldera melts and runs out in a glacial outburst flood (jokulhaup), and the volcano goes BOOM! after all the water weight on the caldera lid is removed.

Not sure of the source, but this might be from the last time it happened, in 2011. 2011 (the last time it exploded after a flood was apparently 2004: sorry!). Cool lightning, but some it might have been photoshopped???


It doesn't always happen, but often enough for the experts to watch closely. At last report, nothing is happening but the flood is expected tonight or tomorrow, and then...?

I'm blogging it, BTW. Lots of links and videos there.

Since it's night up there now and Grimsvotn is out in the boonies away from artificial light sources, not sure if this webcam is operational, but here it is.

This is one of the good social media accounts in English to follow:

 
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bjdeming

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Grimsvotn update: This is one of those nightmare forecast scenarios where the volcanologists make their forecast and the volcano does not cooperate.

Today experts risked their lives to go up to the river that flows out of the glacier covering Grimsvotn to take measurements. Their report from the IMO website via browser translator and Google Translate:

Updated at 29.11 at 4:45 p.m.



The ice cap has now dropped by nearly 5 m. Water surveyors from the Bureau of Meteorology were working on the banks of the river today with measuring instruments...Seismicity is measured on seismometers, indicating that water is starting to flow under the ice. However, electrical conductivity has grown very slowly in the river and no gas is measured.

Measurements by the University of Iceland's Institute of Earth Sciences indicate that about 0.1 km of water has already left the lake, which is about 10% of the water that was in Grimsvotn before the ice cap began to subside. However, it is not a given that the water will run.

Doesn't sound like a scary trek until you see the sort of thing that might have happened, only on a glacier, level with the river bed, in Icelandic winter conditions:


They basically walked up to a ticking bomb to see where it was in the countdown.
 

bjdeming

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Grimsvotn: Today around noon, they announced that the glacial flood water has started to come out, with max flow expected this weekend or early next week.

That's just Iceland news, but if Grimsvotn explodes, North Atlantic air traffic, such as it is in these times, will be affected. Time will tell.
 

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