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"volcanology"21 articles archived since 1845

Coming Next: Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review

Coming Next: Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review

A new disaster movie, retelling the fate of the ancient town of Pompeii, will be released soon. The filmmakers spent six years researching the volcanic disaster that destroyed the town to make it as historically accurate as possible – but what about the geology?

February 16, 2014 — David Bressan

When Rock Classification is not hard anymore, thank Mohs Scale of Hardness

Talc – Gypsum – Calcite – Fluorite – Apatite – Feldspar – Quartz – Topaz – Corundum – Diamond - “Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness ” should be familiar to rock-hounds and earth-science students alike, as it lists common minerals in the order of relative hardness (talc as the softest and diamond as the hardest [...]

January 29, 2014 — David Bressan
In Search of the Lost Land of Gold (and mummified baboons too)

In Search of the Lost Land of Gold (and mummified baboons too)

“Suddenly I heard a noise as of thunder, which I thought to be that of a wave of the sea. The trees shook, and the earth was moved. I uncovered my face, and I saw that a serpent drew near…[]…his body was as overlaid with gold, and his colour as that of true lazuli….[]… it [...]

August 30, 2013 — David Bressan
Book Review: Island on Fire

Book Review: Island on Fire

Island on Fire: The extraordinary story of Laki, the volcano that turned eighteenth-century Europe dark By Witze, A. & Kanipe, J. PROFILE-BOOKS 224 pages | Hardcover 1st edition | April 2014 ISBN 978-178125-0044   Volcanoes are no unusual sight on Iceland and yet the eruption that started June 8, 1783 in the southern district of [...]

September 15, 2014 — David Bressan
Happy Birthday Plate-Tectonics !

Happy Birthday Plate-Tectonics !

September 7, marks the anniversary of the publication of an important paper, “Magnetic Anomalies Over Oceanic Ridges” (1964) describes the discovery of parallel stripes of magnetized igneous rocks along the ocean floor.

September 7, 2014 — David Bressan
August 21, 1986: The Lake Nyos Catastrophe

August 21, 1986: The Lake Nyos Catastrophe

August 21, 1986 was a busy market day in the village of Lower Nyos (Cameroon) and most people that evening went to bed early. At 9:30 p.m. a strange sound, like a distant explosion, was heard and suddenly people and animals tumbled onto the ground.

August 21, 2013 — David Bressan
How it all ends…

How it all ends…

“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” Robert Frost (1874-1963) The [...]

December 7, 2014 — David Bressan
Granite Wars – Episode I: Fire & Water

Granite Wars – Episode I: Fire & Water

In 1820 the Italian engineer Count Giuseppe Marzari-Pencati (1779-1836) published a short article about the stratigraphic succession found near the small village of Predazzo.

September 28, 2013 — David Bressan

Granite Wars – Episode II: A New Phase (-Diagram)

“Inside the globe [there] exist mysterious forces, whose effects become apparent on the surface. Eruptions of vapors, glowing lava and new volcanic rocks…[]” Alexander von Humboldt At the end of the 19th century and after the victory of “Plutonism” in the great Granite War, geologists accepted the idea that igneous rocks originate from deep inside [...]

October 13, 2013 — David Bressan
The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide

The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide

The landslide of Köfels (named after a small village in Tyrol) is one of the largest recognized landslides in the Alps – large enough to dam up a 92 meters (300 feet) deep prehistoric lake and divide in two the valley of Ötz.

October 16, 2014 — David Bressan
The Expanding Earth

The Expanding Earth

The prevailing geological model of the early 19th century was characterized by an almost static earth, maybe slowly cooling and shrinking, until the molten interior would eventually be completely frozen and solidified.

May 12, 2014 — David Bressan
Of Mountain Building and Dwarven Treasures

Of Mountain Building and Dwarven Treasures

Alpine-Type Fissures, fissures filled often with large and beautiful crystals of Quartz, Plagioclase, Rutile , Amphibole and even Gold, are – according to Alpine folklore the treasure chambers of dwarves – but how these treasures formed is even more fascinating than legends could figure out… Soon after the basic principles of the succession of rocks [...]

February 8, 2014 — David Bressan
Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast

Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast

September 8, 1762 the young son of the Yolle‘s, herding the flock of sheep, disappeared near the village of Laval in the province of Dauphiné (France).

October 21, 2014 — David Bressan

Geology and Generals: How Geology influenced the Battle of Gettysburg (Part II.)

“With regard to precipitous heights, if you are beforehand with your adversary, you should occupy the raised and sunny spots, and there wait for him to come up.” The Art of War, by Sun Tzù The battleground of Gettysburg was shaped by ancient tectonic movements, sediments transported by rivers and deposited in lakes and finally [...]

July 3, 2014 — David Bressan

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