The Sciences

Wednesday Whatzits: Icelandic sagas, Chaiten, Erta'Ale's lava lake and a volcano simulator

Rocky Planet iconRocky PlanetBy Erik KlemettiMar 10, 2010 10:32 AM

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Did I mention its a busy week?

The lava lake at Erta'Ale in 2008. Image courtesy of Stromboli Online.

  • Our Icelandic saga continues, with more earthquakes and more speculation/information on the parts of Eruptions readers. Keep up the discussion - I'll be fascinated to see who turns out to get closest to what actually happens, prediction-wise. The seismicity has quieted somewhat again in the last 12 hours, so we wait eagerly to see what comes next. Remember, Iceland is the land where volcanoes helped change history, so it is always fun to talk Icelandic volcanism.

  • The NASA Earth Observatory has some great new images of Chaiten - and probably best view of the new domes I've seen so far. There was no real plume when the image was shot on March 3, so you can clearly see the dome and dome-collapse material (along with ash) that is filling the old Chaiten caldera. Give it another few years of eruption, and Chaiten might look like a normal volcano again, lacking a strong caldera in profile. Just shows how quickly you can rebuild a volcano.

  • With my trip next week to Death Valley, I am going to attempt to have a revived Volcano Profile post up, focusing on Erta'Ale in Ethiopia. So, it was nice to see the volcano make some news this week. The summit lava lake is at unusually high levels, only 20 m below the crater pit's edge. The crater also has an active hornito producing strombolian explosions of lava as well.

  • Finally, how come I just found out this existed? It is an online volcano simulator, it is actually pretty darn good, both in information and coolness. Thank you Alaska Museum of Natural History!

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