Guest Videos: Listening to Volcanoes At A Distance

This is also helpful in remote areas like Alaska, where volcano monitoring is difficult but absolutely necessary because of heavy air traffic.

And, yes, if you sped up volcanic infrasound, it would sound just like an erupting volcano:


Livestream of Kilauea’s Summit Crater

The lava fountains and human drama in Hawaii’s Lower Puna District are getting all the headlines, but geologists know there is also drama ongoing at the summit, where the volcano’s crater seems to have been slowly collapsing since the lava lake drained.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory staff were forced to move farther away from the summit area because the many earthquakes there were damaging the building. Now, they have set up a livestream, and it’s fascinating to watch. Basically, the crater walls are slowly crumbling inward, and there is a pile of rocks at the bottom that may be suppressing the explosions — after a period of suppression, of course, there will likely be a big steam blast to relieve pressure, But no one knows if or when that will happen, or what will happen next.

Anyway, here’s the livestream:

For comparison, here’s a video they recorded in March to mark the ten-year anniversary of the lava lake first appearing in the summit crater. Where he’s standing has already collapsed now.

Here is a drone overlight of Halemaumau they did on May 31st. As you can see, the vent where the lava lake used to be has expanded to almost fill the whole crater. And there’s the rock pile down at the bottom, probably supressing, to some extent, the explosions.

And, about an hour ago, the USGS posted this:

Featured image: USGS. Those curved lines on the left is where the visitor’s parking lot used to be.

Guest Videos: Monitoring Volcanoes With Cosmic Rays

You might have heard that they found another chamber in the Great Pyramid recently. Archaeologists and physicists did this by using muons–a type of subatomic particle–to see inside the rock.

Here’s how they did it:

There is another way muon tomography is helping scientists keep people safe: by looking through volcanoes.

This is cutting edge stuff, and work still continues at Soufrière Guadeloupe, where at least five working telescopes were in place in February 2017.

Unfortunately, the last online bulletin of the volcano observatory at Guadeloupe (English translation of website here) is from 2014.

I hope the Great Pyramid discovery may encourage more volcanologists around the world to check out the technique!

If Twitter Was Around When Mount St. Helens Blew

It’s wonderful (from a distance) to follow the ongoing eruption at Kilauea via the Web. Twitter is especially helpful.

I’ve been wondering what the 1980 reawakening and eruption of Mount St. Helens would have been like on Twitter. Here are some tweets I’ve found from volcanologists and other interested people who have not forgotten May 18, 1980, as well as a movie from the National Archives.

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Guest Video: The Biggest Eruption of the 20th Century

This 2012 presentation tells the story of the VEI 6 eruption of Katmai/Novarupta in 1912.

Alaskans are still experiencing ashfall from that eruption’s deposits whenever the wind is right, most recently in November 2017 according to the Smithsonian.

This huge eruption was unusual in that it was associated with a caldera collapse in nearby Katmai Volcano.

The Internet Archive has the 1922 National Geographic Society report on their expedition to the volcano here.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory monitors Katmai around the clock, but the only trouble the volcano has caused lately has been remobilized ash from the 1912 eruption.

Featured image: NASA