Tag: natural hazards

About Natural Disasters: Campi Flegrei, the Phlegrean Fields

I dug up this 2013 post as background for this past week’s excellent blog post by volcanologist Erik Klemetti on Campi Flegrei in Italy–it may warming up again (but there is nothing to indicate an eruption is likely in our lifetimes, let alone imminent). In the midst of life we are in death … An

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Popocatepetl is Putting on a Show

If we once realize all this earth as it is, we should find ourselves in a land of miracles: we shall discover a new planet at the moment that we discover our own. — G. K. Chesterton, in “In Defence of Planets” Starting on the afternoon of the 20th, this volcano–around which some 25 million

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The Ten Most Hazardous US Volcanoes

Update, October 29, 2018: The Yellowstone Observatory posted more information on Yellowstone Caldera’s ranking and on the threat assessment process today. Original post: It’s a little early to be making top-ten lists for 2018, but the USGS just released their 2018 update to the National Volcanic Threat Assessment: Which #volcanoes are the most threatening in

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Update on Popocatépetl

Volcanologists at the University of Mexico released a bulletin (Spanish) this morning; here is the Google Translate version. Click the link in the top menu for more information about Popocatépetl as well as updates. Bulletin UNAM-DGCS-620 University City. 11:00 hs. September 29, 2018 Ramón Espinasa Pereña Ana Lillian Martín del Pozo   IN INCREMENT, THE

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Meanwhile, in Puebla . . .

See update at bottom of post, or click the Popocatepetl link at the top of this page. This is a 2011 view of nearby Popocatepetl volcano from downtown Puebla. Today, people in this Mexican city are watching Popocatepetl with concern (you can follow updates on its activity through the link in the top menu–it has

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Guest Videos: What Is Lightning?

When thunder roars, go indoors! — words of wisdom from James Spann and other meteorologists. Note that on Earth, lightning is most frequent in equatorial regions. For almost 40 years–ever since Voyager passed the planet Jupiter–scientists have wondered why lightning is more frequent at Jupiter’s poles. It otherwise seems to work pretty much the same

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Guest Video: The Salton Sea

A study at the end of June made headlines about earthquake hazard on the San Andreas Fault. The research looked at the area covered by the Salton Sea: According to news reports, geologists found: . . . a nearly 15.5-mile-long, sheared zone with two, nearly parallel master faults and hundreds of smaller, rung-like cross faults.

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Popocatepétl: A Dangerous Volcano

August 12, 2018: I’ve just read this scientific paper (open-access, freely downloadable from Springer), written by volcanologists in easy-to-understand English, that describes just how difficult it is to manage a potentially violent volcano like Popocatepétl over a long-term “semi-crisis” like the one unfolding there today. Check it out! It really gives you good background on

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Mount Rainier

This was first published at my other blog on May 3, 2014. There is a king in the Pacific Northwest, his brow crowned in glittering ice. Mount Rainier starts to rise only about 25 miles from the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. Today this beautiful Cascades stratovolcano, towering 14,410 feet above Puget Sound, dominates the skyline of

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Guest Video: Early Earthquake Warning Systems

You may have heard of earthquake warning systems. Here is how one of them works. In that example, people in Palm Springs and along the line of the spreading rupture are out of luck, but the system definitely helps communities farther away. Early warnings have saved many lives in Mexico, but there are limitations to

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