Volcanoes

volcanoes

Getting there and getting around the Andean Volcanoes

The towns of Puerto Montt, Temuco and Osorno make suitable jumping-off points for the region, and all are accessed via a short (and scenic!) flight on LAN Airlines south from Santiago, Chile. The volcano ski season lasts from early September through mid-October.

 
17 Mar 2015

Travels in Geology: Skiing into the heart of an Andean Volcano

What is it like to descend into a volcanic caldera? The author — a geoscience education consultant and ski instructor — travels to South America to find out.

17 Mar 2015

Magma pancakes underlie Toba supervolcano

Giant eruptions from so-called supervolcanoes eject tremendous volumes of lava and ash, but details about the source of all that volcanic material have been unclear. Now, a new study has found that magma reservoirs intrude into the crust under volcanoes over millions of years in the form of multiple horizontally oriented chambers stacked on top of each other, like a stack of pancakes.

 
11 Mar 2015

Mantle plume alternative explains Australian volcanism

Magma often finds its way to the surface along Earth’s crustal boundaries as tectonic plates crash together, rift apart or grind past each other. Less understood is why volcanoes sometimes emerge far away from plate boundaries. Narrow plumes of buoyant mantle rock rising from hundreds of kilometers deep have long been supposed as the source of intraplate volcanoes, but evidence for plumes is lacking in many areas. Now, in a new study, researchers have reported evidence for an alternative process, known as edge-driven convection, which appears to be driving intraplate volcanism in southeastern Australia.

 
29 Jan 2015

Comment: Preparing for the volcano in your backyard: New Zealand sets an example

Preparing and planning for a potential volcanic eruption can help communities cope with fallout and manage the human response when eruptions do happen. Auckland, New Zealand, is working on just such a plan that can serve as an example to other cities facing potential volcanic hazards now or in the future.

26 Dec 2014

Link between volcanoes and drought cools geoengineering prospects

The realization that large volcanic eruptions can trigger climatic cooling has inspired some to call for stratospheric geoengineering projects, which mimic volcanic eruptions, to combat the effects of global warming. But the approach is not without risks. And a new study looking at the effects of volcanic eruptions on monsoon cycles in China over the past 700 years elucidates one: Eruptions can also cause profound drought in some regions. The finding suggests that although artificially induced cooling may have benefits in some places, it could backfire in others.

14 Dec 2014

Travels in Geology: Lentils, lace and lava: France's Massif Central

Tucked between the Pyrenees and the Alps in south-central France is a little-known highland called the Massif Central. This rugged and secluded region is celebrated for its natural beauty and is known for its rolling volcanic hills, handmade lace and savory green lentils.

13 Dec 2014

Travels in Geology: Bali beckons

Bali, Indonesia's top tourist destination, boasts everything a visitor could want: copious sun, sand and surf, flavorful food and fruity libations, stunning sunsets, and verdant rice paddies tucked beneath misty mountains. It also hosts a number of geo-attractions, including hot springs and Indonesia's first global geopark. 

30 Oct 2014

Kilauea eruptions could shift from mild to wild

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is famously effusive: Low-viscosity lava oozes out of the main caldera and two active rift zones along the southern shore of the Big Island. But scientists suspect that Kilauea’s eruptions haven’t always been so mild, and a new study is providing further evidence supporting that notion. In the past 2,500 years, at least two cycles of explosive eruptions lasting several centuries each have rocked the island. The switch from effusive back to explosive is likely to occur again, scientists say, but probably not anytime soon.
 

14 Oct 2014

First building blocks in Oahu found

The Hawaiian Islands that jut above the waves are merely the tops of a string of towering volcanoes known as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. These mountains have formed flow by flow, eruption by eruption, over the past 28 million years as the Pacific Plate moves over a hot spot in the mantle.

03 Oct 2014

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