A quick programming note: I'll be off on the Geosciences Fall Field Trip - this year down to the Smokies of southern Tennessee/western North Carolina/northern Georgia - so there won't be any new posts until next Monday. However, feel free to post any new news you find on volcanoes here (like I need to tell you all that anymore!)
And a reminder: Send in your questions about magmatism at Mt. Hood for the Q&A with Dr. Adam Kent!
Sounds like the eruption at wasn't as exciting as we thought - the Alaska Volcano Observatory called the plume over the weekend a "weak plume", so likely only steam with minor ash, and not any large eruption. However, AVO will still keep a close eye on activity at the volcano even though it is well south of any major air traffic routes as well. The latest AVO update on Cleveland says that a persistent thermal anomaly was spotted on satellite passes.
Over at Sinabung, there is not a lot of new news, but the Jakarta Post did have an article about the fears of local villagers who live near the volcano. Not surprisingly, they worry that the eruption will destroy their livelihood - their farms. Many locals grow lucrative crops such as coffee, chili peppers and oranges and some of these crops have already been damaged by the ash fall. Over 27,000 people have been evacuated, but many are already returning even as seismicity at the volcano continues. Remember, there is a webcam to watch the ongoing activity at Sinabung - and Eruptions reader Peter Van Rooij continues to post excellent time-lapse video of the volcano.
A couple articles that might interest some of you as well:
I ran across this piece aimed at children in the Daily Herald taking about why volcanoes erupt. It actually does a pretty decent job at describing it in very general ways, but I've seen much worse (hello, FEMA).
Alexandra Witze put together a nice summary of volcanic activity in Iceland. It is a little glossy and simplified at points - and gives a little too much credence to the "ice melt leads to eruption" theory, but there are some great images in the slideshow at the bottom.
UPDATE: I meant to post this, but forgot! The Volcanism Blog has a very interesting note about how INGV in Italy is pondering making seismic data unavailable to the public to curtail the "prophets of doom". I know many of us on Eruptions would be adamantly against this idea, so feel free to chime in over on Ralph's blog.
See you next week!
Top left: A cropped ASTER image of Cleveland volcano taken in May 2010 showing a weak plume and debris flows on the volcanoes steep slopes. Image by the NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team and courtesy of AVO. Click on the image to see a larger version.