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eruption

2012: The end of the world or just another year of living in harm’s way?

We live on a knife-edge, separated from an ocean of super-heated rock by a wafer-thin and perpetually rupturing crust, swinging our way through a cosmic minefield of lethal debris around a nuclear furnace prone to tantrums. For doomsayers, the end of the Mayan long-count calendar, set against such a backdrop, is a gift. Though Mayan culture never spoke of a cataclysm, Dec. 21, 2012 — the purported last day of a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican calendar — has been added to an endless list of days when the world has been predicted to end.

24 Jul 2012

Five outstanding questions in earth science

Even 15 years after the release of “Good Will Hunting,” there remains something appealing about watching the title character, a mathematically inclined janitor at MIT, scribble the solution to an unsolved mathematics problem on a hallway blackboard. In reality, there are a number of unsolved problems in mathematics, seven of which were designated in 2000 by the Clay Mathematics Institute as “Millennium Prize Problems,” each with a purse of $1,000,000. To date, only one has been solved.

27 Jun 2012

AAG: Eruption of El Salvador’s Ilopango explains A.D. 536 cooling

El Salvador’s Lake Ilopango, near the capital city of San Salvador, is known for boating, diving and the rugged, scenic beauty of its 100 meter-tall cliffs --- the lip of the caldera that holds the lake. However, 1,500 years ago, it may have been the site of one of the most horrific natural disasters in the world. It may also be the long-sought cause of the extreme climate cooling and crop failures of A.D. 535-536, reported Robert A.

25 Feb 2012

Hazardous Living: Thirty years after Mount St. Helens exploded

Thirty years ago today, sometime not long after 8:30 a.m. Pacific time, Mount St. Helens explosively erupted. The shock wave from the eruption washed over Oregon and Washington, shaking the ground up to 400 kilometers away. Two earthquakes followed, at 8:32 and 8:34 a.m. Shortly thereafter, with a tremendous burst, the upper north flank gave way as gas, steam and ash vented outward and sent out an immense landslide of hot rock, mud, water, ash and debris.

18 May 2010

Hazardous Living: Guatemala and Ecuador under volcanic siege ... and other hazards

Guatemala's Pacaya volcano and Ecuador’s Tungurahua vociferously erupted on Thursday, wreaking havoc on villages and cities nearby.

28 May 2010

Merapi continues to erupt

Indonesia's Mount Merapi sent another powerful blast of searing ash and rock into the sky again on Wednesday, marking the volcano's most powerful eruptions since it began erupting again on Oct. 26.

03 Nov 2010

Undersea volcano erupts near Tonga

Blogging on EARTH

One of Tonga's submarine volcanoes is awake again, sending spectacular plumes of smoke, ash and steam high into the sky. MSNBC has video here.

19 Mar 2009

Alaska's Mt. Redoubt erupts at last

Blogging on EARTH

After months of threatening and rumbling, Mount Redoubt finally erupted late Sunday night.

Redoubt began to exhibit increasing unrest last fall, with seismic activity becoming markedly increased in January, and expectations of an imminent eruption were growing. On March 15, researchers detected four hours of continuous volcanic tremor and observed of a brief plume of gas and ash, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Volcano Observatory.

23 Mar 2009

Scientists assess Redoubt's fury

After a series of five explosive eruptions from Sunday night through Monday morning, Alaska's Redoubt volcano quieted for about 15 hours Monday afternoon — long enough for scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Volcano Observatory to travel to the volcano to make observations and repair equipment (including the Redoubt webcam). A sixth explosive eruption followed Monday night at about 7:40 p.m.

24 Mar 2009

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