Archive for March, 2011

One Year Later, Eyjafjallajökull

Posted in Iceland, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 30, 2011 by italyicelandvolcanoes

With April fast-approaching, we are now reaching the one year anniversary of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Eyjafjallajökull is a volcano located in Southern Iceland which took the global spotlight when its ash plumes shut down air travel across Europe. Many were surprised when the volcano erupted, because it has been historically less active in comparison to Iceland’s numerous other volcanoes. The last eruption took place over the course of 14 months from 1821-1823. Yet, regardless of what was or was not expected, Eyjafjallajökull certainly erupted, and the media and various governments responded in a multitude of ways. With many sources having covered the eruption in detail, I saw it fit to take a look at the reaction to the eruption, and plume that surpassed 8 km on numerous occasions throughout April and May across Europe.

One of the many ways that the media responded was through political cartoons.

The worry proposed in this cartoon is that the ash plume would do serious damage to the environment. Though this provides an interesting topic for a cartoon, in the end, climatologists determined that the atmospheric effects would be short lived. This is not to say that the immediate effects were not devastating. Some stunning photographs of the eruption can be found here.

The reality painted in this cartoon, however, was far more real. Over three-quarters of European airspace was closed for a week. Thousands of flights and millions of airline passengers were affected. The financial loss for airline companies was approximately $2.8 billion. This does not even include the drop in tourism and other economic issues. Like the cartoon says, Eyjafjallajökull happens, and we can only hope that it doesn’t in the future, though that hope is likely fruitless.

By Khia Johnson, 3/29/11

Recent Volcanic Activity in Hawaii, March 9th-24th

Posted in US/Mexico on March 29, 2011 by sarahnye1

As of March 10th, the East Rift Zone eruption  had a lack of activity.

The video link above is from March 5th, but it is a very interesting look at the Kilauea crater collapsing.

The Kamoamoa fissure eruption was probably the most exciting thing Hawaii has seen recently. These pictures show the thickness of the flow produced by the eruption.

Since March 9th, the end of the Kamoamoa fissure eruption, no lava has been erupted on the east rift zone. The floor of Pu`u `O`o is still filled with rubble, and there is no active lava in the area. The summit of the mountain has been active this week, as the inflation and deflation of the lava lake in the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent has caused it tto disappear.

This week, some small rock falls have also been observed. The volcanic gas emissions have decreased over this past week but still remain high, resulting in high concentrations of sulfur dioxide downwind, from March 16th to 18th.

Two earthquakes were also felt beneath the Hawaii island this week, one on the 18th and the other on the 20th.

By Sarah Nye, March 28th, 2011

Earthquake in Japan!

Posted in Japan/Philippines on March 29, 2011 by nallurihp

As we all know, there’s been a great deal of activity in Japan. Many of us have been following the news, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that there’s been a massive earthquake in Japan. The earthquake warranted a 9.0 on the Richter scale, the second biggest earthquake recorded. This earthquake had some devastating consequences for the people of Japan. The estimated damages alone could cost up to 309 billion US dollars. The earthquake was so strong that it moved Japan nearly 8 feet closer to the States, and it caused a tsunami that caused even more damage. As of now there are 11,004 deaths, 2,778 injured, and 17,339 missing. To add insult to injury the earthquake caused explosions at multiple nuclear power plants, and the radiation contaminated much of their food supply.

However the people of Japan can’t relax just yet, the worst is not yet over. It is possible that the earthquake could trigger some of the many active volcanoes that are in Japan. Kirishima has already had a small eruption.

Here are some images of destruction the earthquake has caused:

Japan after the earthquake


And above ^ you can watch as the tsunami comes in.




Priya Nalluri

Russia: Volcanic Activity March 16-22, 2010

Posted in Russia with tags , , on March 27, 2011 by jameshupp

An image of Shiveluch from the 25th of February, 2011

KARYMSKY: Moderate amounts of seismic activity were detected between the 10th and 18th of March according to KVERT, with ash plumes rising to heights of 5.8km.

KIZIMEN: KVERT also reported of seismic activity increased between March 11th through the 18th, with many earthquakes and seismic activity being detected today. ash plumes traveled  about 219km SE and W, and the march 20-22 eruptions reaching heights of around 6 to 7km.

SHIVELUCH: Seismic activity occurred between the 11th and 18th of March with ash plumes reaching heights ranging between 3 to 8 km. Ash Plumes drifted approximately 312 km W and NW.

James Hupp


Ulawun Stratovolcano

Posted in Papau New Guinea on March 10, 2011 by the inevitable change

In light of there being little information on volcanic activity in the Papua New Guinea region this post will be focusing on another volcano in the region.

Ulawun is the highest volcano of the Bismarck arc as well as Papua New Guinea’s most active. Nicknamed the “North Son”, Ulawun sits above the North Coast of New Britain (opposite the “South Son”- Bamus). 1,000 meters of the 2,334 meter-high volcano has no vegetation. The activity of Ulawun dates back to the start of the 18th century.  Until 1967, eruptions were mild, but after 1970 larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows.

More information to come! Thanks for Reading!



Posted in Guatemala with tags on March 9, 2011 by zaradaula


Recently in Guatemala, Volcan Fuego has been erupting. In February, it erupted the 24th, 25th, 27th, and 28th, producing up to 700m ash plumes, ejected material, and avalanches, all travelling mostly West and Southwest. On March 5th, the explosions continued, ejecting lava up to 100m above the crater. Fuego is considered one of the most active volcanoes in Central America, but it has not produced a majorly explosive eruption since 1974.

Also on February 24th and 25th, the Guatemalan stratovolcano Santa Maria produced a few explosions, also creating a large ash plume and some avalanches. More recently on March 3rd and 4th, Santa Maria erupted, producing a pyroclastic flow that moved 2.5km down the Southwest side of the volcano.

Sources: Volcano Live and The Smithsonian

You can watch a video of an eruption at Fuego (from February 16th) below, but please excuse the vulgarity…this is the only video I could find.

Zara Holderman

March 7, 2011


Posted in Nicaragua on March 8, 2011 by zaradaula

I will be monitoring Nicaragua and Guatemala from now on, but my first post is focused on Nicaragua because I just spent ten days there. I stayed at a farm called Rancho Ebenezer with a work brigade that went in and helped the farm and surrounding communities by painting houses, installing electric wires, teaching the women how to sew clothing, and caring for the worker’s children. It was an incredible experience!

On the flight in to Managua, I took this photo of a volcano smoking beneath us:

I don’t know for sure, but considering how close we were to Managua, my guess is that this volcano is Masaya.

While I was there, we walked to a school near where we were living and on the walk back, I saw this:

I got really excited thinking that the two light layers may have been volcanically related, perhaps a pumice or ash deposit, partially because of the way it looked, but also the way it crumbled when I touched it. I asked my professor, Dr. Klemetti, and he agrees that it is probably ash. To give you a frame of reference, the thicker layer of ash was probably about six inches thick.

During my stay, I talked with a couple of people about their experiences living near volcanoes. The first man I spoke to was Dr. Irvin, who is an American missionary who has been in Nicaragua for nearly five years. When I asked him what it was like leaving a volcanically dead zone in the U.S. to a fairly active area in Nicaragua, he laughed a little and said he doesn’t mind at all. He told me that he sleeps through the tremors at his house in Managua, and he tends not to worry about eruptions when he is working in the mountains. Dr. Irvin left me with the following statement: “Everyone has to die at some point, why worry?” and then mentioned how “cool” it would be to die in a volcanic eruption. That certainly wasn’t the response I expected.

The second person I spoke with was our translator, Faran. He has lived in Nicaragua his entire life and he said that he (and everyone he knows) doesn’t even notice the little eruptions that occur on a regular basis. Basically, the answer I got from him was that they are so used to it that it is not a big deal like it would be for a small town Ohioan like me.

Starting next week, I will be giving regular updates on the volcanic activity in my region, but I wanted to share my personal experiences first!

Zara Holderman
March 7, 2011