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Showing posts from 2019

Contents under pressure

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-Alison

How does it make you feel when a headline reads "molten magma beneath your feet"? It sure sounds exciting, and when it’s followed immediately by some line about disaster or cataclysm it can be quite stressful. Before we tackle the details, let’s start off with-- there is very little magma down there. Most of the Earth’s mantle is quite solid, it is hot, but not much of it is liquid. Some headlines are just click bait, or they've taken some grain of truth and stretched it until it causes that right amount of drama. We can, with a bit of detective work, weed out what real information in the news from the soap opera.

One way is to first wrap our heads around the scale of things "beneath our feet".

Just what do we mean when we say the Earth is hot inside? How far must we go to get to hot stuff? More importantly, how much is liquid down there? If you head to a geology text book or USGS website you'll find lots of numbers that describe depths and pressure…

So you want to visit an active volcano?

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- Dr. Janine Krippner

This is a scary blog post to write. Why? Because even if you follow every bit of advice here you could still get hurt on a volcano. No one wants to give inadequate advice but I do not want to see any of you get hurt. The only way to eliminate the risk of getting injured or killed on a volcano is to not be there. I repeat: The only way to eliminate the risk of getting hurt or killed on a volcano is to not be there. But you can take some safety steps to reduce that risk. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list, and above all else, ALWAYS follow advice from local agencies who know the volcano and work to keep people safe.

Last week a young man lost his life at Stromboli. He wasn't doing anything wrong. There was a large explosion that gave no warning and he never went home to his friends and family. This is what we face when we visit volcanoes. It is a calculated risk just like getting into your car. I love volcanoes and I intend to keep visiting them, so …

YELLOWSTONE and our new Popular Volcanics podcast

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- Dr. Janine Krippner

YELLOWSTONE is gonna BLOW... is something you see in tabloid headlines in some form or another far too often. Let me start off with saying how sick I am of seeing all of you being lied to about this volcano. Let's chat about the facts, where to find the facts, and how to spot the junk 'news' on Yellowstone.

So what is actually happening with this volcano, or "supervolcano" to use the recently popular term? My colleague Dr. Erik Klemetti got in touch about starting a volcano podcast and we have jumped right in, tackling the big problem-child volcano to kick things off.

Why make a volcano podcast?

Because I want YOU to be able to find and understand all the good stuff about volcanoes. You don't deserve to search for volcano information only to find tabloid junk. I am trying to fix this, step-by-step.

Our brand new podcast is Popular Volcanics (you can head over to our new website here) where Erik and I are your hosts and we will bring in g…

The Life and Legacy of Volcanologist David A. Johnston: Setting the Record Straight

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- Dr. Janine Krippner
People around the world know that David Johnston was a volcanologist at Mount St. Helens in 1980, and that he was killed when the volcano erupted. His last words are repeated over and over. His last photo shared all over the internet. What isn't widely discussed is who he really was as a person. Author Melanie Holmes has dedicated the last four years to talking to his friends, colleagues, and family. Her journey began as a result of a conversation between friends—Melanie has known Dave’s sister more than three decades. Since she began, Melanie has read reams of clippings and letters that his parents kept, as well as Dave’s teenage diary. And she spoke to those of us who carry on his scientific legacy today. It is time that his story is told, 39 years later, to clear up misconceptions and to fill in the gaps about who he was – a genuinely nice guy.
“As a man, Dave left his mark on the world through his work in the field of geology. More important, and this is…

Volcanic ash is not fluffy & volcanoes don't smoke! Setting the story straight & how to protect yourself.

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- Dr. Janine Krippner
Top information resources for volcanic ash:
USGS Volcanic Ash Impacts and Mitigation

The International Volcanic Health Hazard Network 

GNS Be Prepared: Volcanic Ashfall

Global Volcanic Hazards and Risk 

List of Volcano Observatories

Items to stock before ashfall




As you read this, there are likely around 20 volcanoes actively erupting right now. There are over 40 ongoing eruptions around the world. There are 1,431 volcanoes that we consider to be potentially active, or that erupted recently enough to be able to erupt any time soon (list here), and there are hundreds of millions of people living around those volcanoes. On top of that, there are many people who travel to or near volcanoes, and even more who fly around the world in planes that can be impacted by volcanic ash. Freight planes and ships can be halted and economies are impacted. As you see in this first video that was taken at Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, volcanic ashfall can be a frightening experience.

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