Iceland’s Volcanic Theater

Iceland is a fabulous showcase for volcanoes. The easily accessible locations to view explosions of fiery lava and ash provide unusual opportunities for volcano-appreciators of all types, giving them ringside seats for the action. In the past few decades, there have been several spectacular volcanic performances. Attempting to control volcanoes is a major challenge, although people have tried, and even achieved success.

By |2021-09-02T09:08:26-07:00September 2nd, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|6 Comments

Obsidian – A Few Fascinating Facts

The shiny volcanic glass obsidian comes in many interesting forms – and has a long and rich history. From varied shapes and a range of colors to chemistry that allows obsidian to be traced back to the originating volcano, plus the wealth of artifacts that people have produced for tens of thousands of years, there are many fascinating facts about obsidian.

By |2021-07-28T09:53:43-07:00July 29th, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|8 Comments

Volcanoes and East African Rift Roulette

The volcano recently erupting in Africa–Mount Nyiragongo–is one of the most active on our planet. Eruptions in 1977, 2002 and now beginning in May 2021, have resulted in a significant number of fatalities and extensive damage in the nearby and densely populated city of Goma. If scientists were calling the shots, they would relocate Goma and designate the region beneath this active volcano as a national park.

By |2021-06-03T06:15:22-07:00June 3rd, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|2 Comments

A Few Facts: Volcanic Explosions

Volcano-watchers have had lots of excitement lately with the ongoing eruptions on the Reykjavik Peninsula in Iceland and Soufriere, on the West Indies island of Saint Vincent. So far both eruptions are fairly small. Colorful graphic representations of the relative sizes of volcanic eruptions are intriguing, although variability in natural events confounds human attempts to assign neat boxes or bubbles to these phenomena.

By |2021-04-22T06:30:04-07:00April 22nd, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|4 Comments

Viewing Volcanic Eruptions

Watching a volcano erupt is exciting–and people all around the world now have opportunities to see these dramatic performances! The new volcano on the Reykjavik Peninsula in Iceland is getting lots of attention, as is Mount Etna in Sicily. Also, the eruption that began at Kilauea on December 20, 2020 is continuing and the lava lake is deepening.

By |2021-03-24T09:38:18-07:00March 24th, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|0 Comments

Kilauea Stirring

On the evening of Dec 20, 2020, an eerie orange glow appeared on the infrared monitoring cameras on the summit of Kilauea volcano in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The glow grew larger and larger, marking the beginning of a new volcanic eruption. Lava began pouring out from fissures in the summit crater and a steam cloud developed as the hot lava hit lake water and the water began to boil. 

By |2021-01-06T09:05:49-07:00January 7th, 2021|Our Amazing Earth|4 Comments

Earthquakes and Eruptions in Eastern California

A huge volcano erupted violently about 760,000 years ago on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, forming a large depression called the Long Valley Caldera. This “super-eruption” was estimated to be more than 2,000 times larger than the 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens...Today, the Mammoth Lakes resort area is on the western edge of the ancient caldera.

By |2020-08-28T08:07:41-07:00August 27th, 2020|Our Amazing Earth|6 Comments

Earthquakes and Other Surprises in the Basin and Range

If you have admired the vast and empty Nevada landscape that unfolds during a drive across, or an airplane flight above, this western state, then you have seen some of the territory that composes the Basin and Range. The principal features of this region are rugged mountain ranges and arid deserts....

By |2020-05-07T06:51:34-07:00May 7th, 2020|Our Amazing Earth|10 Comments
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