Monday Musings

Starting today and going until early August, you might see fewer posts on Eruptions than you're accustomed. This is because I'm in the process of moving to Ohio to get set up to start my new job as an assistant professor at Denison University. I'm excited about the move, but as you can imagine, trying to pull up stakes in California and trek two-thirds of the way across the continent will take up a lot of my time. I will miss the easy access to volcanoes here on the Left Coast, but I am excited to get (mostly) permanent employment, set up my own lab and to be able to teach geology again!

Halema`uma`u Crater on Kilauea. Image taken on April 2, 2008, courtesy of the NASA EO.

So, with that, here are some news updates:

  • We have a few more bits of info on the recent Manda Hararo eruption in Ethiopia. It seems that the eruption was very similar to one that occurred in the same region 4 years ago - both were rift/fissure vent eruptions that seem to be along a 60-km dike that is being emplaced at depth. This is fairly typical for many of the basaltic volcanic fields in the East African Rift.
  • Want to know more about Martian volcanoes? Colby Magazine has an interview with my friend Dr. Mariek Schmidt on her work with Martian volcanics at the Smithsonian.
  • The NASA Earth Observatory has a great shot of the summit crater at Nyiragongo in the Congo. The image, taken on June 27, 2009, shows the plume of volcanic gases coming from the degassing magma in the summit crater.
  • USGS scientists from HVO have mapped the depths of the Halema`uma`u Crater at Kilauea's summit and found that it is much deeper than they previously thought. The crater actually reaches down over 200 meters / 650 feet from the edge of the active crater. This laser mapping also shows that the crater has a fairly impressive overhang at the top, suggesting that the crater itself may be relatively unstable and prone to more collapses.

More like this

The Halema'uma'u Crater at Kilauea on June 29, 2009, prior to a rockfall on June 30th that has blocked the vent. Image courtesy of HVO. There is a bit of a buzz today about significant rockfalls that occurred in Halema'uma'u Crater at Kilauea on June 30th. Some articles have suggested that the…
Not sure how it was kept quiet for most of the week (well, at least to me), but geologists at the HVO have noticed a new lava lake in Halemaumau Caldera on Kilauea (Hawai'i). The lava lake is around 330 feet (~100 meters) below the crater rim and ~160 feet (50 meters) across with sections of…
The collapse pit within the Halema`uma`u Crater at Kilauea taken January 7, 2010. Image courtesy of the USGS/HVO. Eruptions reader Boris Behncke pointed out that things are afoot in the Halema`uma`u Crater at Kilauea. To steal his description: " the lava lake returned triumphantly to the active pit…
A quick update on the rockfall in the Halema`uma`u (got it right this time!) Crater at Kilauea. Last week a rockfall blocked the vent that had been glowing for most of the year from the lava below, but the debris clogged the vent, producing minor accidental tephra explosion. Lava in the recently "…

Don't worry Erik, you won't have volcanoes, you'll be near some great Appalachian geology.

you could find some one us too post your blogs why you are gone and in tell you come back Erik Klemett this some in too think about

Congratulations on your new position. :)

Well, at least Ohio wouldn't be as isolated and cold as UP Michigan. It could also be a great excuse to arrange all those trips to Hawaii, Guatemala, Italy ... and of course if you're interested in hard and even more hazardous work there are a number of extremely difficult places to access on the African continent.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 20 Jul 2009 #permalink

may your move go well. My daughter Lucy went to Denison a few years back. If you like to garden, you should have some nice dirt to look forward to. The weeds I'm used to in MA grow 2-4 times taller in the Denison area. No wonder people moved to Ohio.

By tom hodgson (not verified) on 20 Jul 2009 #permalink

Congratulations Erik!

By the way, it looks like the bad weather front has reached Redoubt Volcano as well (if you remember the last Shishaldin blog entry) as showed by many webicorders in the AVO website (especially RSO). By looking more in detail at seismic data though (again, especially RSO, since it's the closest station to the summit) it appears to me that mixed with weather induced seismic noise there is also indication of increased rockfalls/dome erosion seismic signals compared to previous days.

Since the current Redoubt lava dome is still potentially unstable it might be worth to keep an eye on it - the harsh weather could be making a dome collapse possibility more likely than before.

By SHIRAKAWA Akira (not verified) on 20 Jul 2009 #permalink