Lately, it's been mostly earthquakes most of the time, but there's volcano news, too! Let's switch it up for a few minutes here and catch up with our firey friends. There's even some icy ones on this list!
Smithsonian Magazine: Why Are Ice Volcanoes Erupting on the Shores of Lake Michigan?
Something very cool is happening on the shores of Lake Michigan. After spitting thousands of variably-sized ice balls into Holland State Park in Michigan state last Friday, its wintry waters have served up a second scoop of frigid fun: ice volcanoes, spewing slushy water out of cone-shaped mounds of ice.
Cryovolcanoes?! In Michigan!?! Okay, it ain't actually so, but these bizarre and extremely neat ice formations deserve to be included. How they form is a fascinating story!
National Geographic: These lava lakes drained catastrophically—and scientists caught it in action
Moussallam initially ventured to Ambrym as part of a study analyzing the prodigious gasses puffing from volcanoes across the Vanuatu arc, a project funded by the National Geographic Society. They monitored gasses at three of Ambrym’s lava lakes before heading on their way. Two weeks later, they were prepping for their flight back home from Vanuatu’s capital city, Port Vila, when they got the news: Ambrym was erupting
The team caught a helicopter back to the island and gaped at the difference. The molten lakes had disappeared. A lava flow cooled in the distance. Nearby trees crackled with flames. Connecting the dots, they at first assumed that magma had burst to the surface, draining the system.
“We thought that was the story,” Moussallam says. But, as they later discovered, the eruption was still playing out deep under their feet.
We may need to investigate this one further. What a fascinating eruption - and a fairly odd volcano!
Phys.org: South American volcano showing early warning signs of 'potential collapse,' research shows
Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador—known locally as "The Black Giant"—is displaying the hallmarks of flank instability, which could result in a colossal landslide.
New research, led by Dr. James Hickey from the Camborne School of Mines, has suggested that the volcano's recent activity has led to significant rapid deformation on the western flank.
The researchers believe that the driving force causing this deformation could lead to an increased risk of the flank collapsing, causing widespread damage to the surrounding local area.
Definitely something to keep an eye on! We know lots about flank collapses here, don't we?
Rocky Planet: A New Eruption Might Be in the Works in Southern Iceland
In late January, the Icelandic Meteorologic Office (who also monitors the nation's volcanoes) reported two meaningful changes in the southwestern region of the peninsula near Grindavik. The land surface has been inflating significantly for the first time since such measurements have been taken and a large earthquake swarm also occurred.
There's no guarantee of an eruption, but there's definitely something up! We rarely get to study active mid-ocean ridges on dry land, so the activity in this part of Iceland, even if it doesn't lead to an eruption, will help us learn more about some of the most fascinating and unaccessible volcanic features on Earth.
Mount Hood Research: Can we get Hawaiian type volcanic eruptions in Oregon: Yes!
So Oregon, lying as it does on a subduction zone, shouldn’t expect to see eruptions like we are currently seeing in Hawaii – right? Well, actually no. Basalt volcanoes that are quite similar to Hawaiian volcanoes are less common on subduction zones, but do occur, and Oregon has some great examples. What’s more, eruptions have occurred in the relatively recent past in Oregon that would have looked quite similar to what we are seeing unfolding today at Kilauea.
This is an article from 2018 I stumbled across recently while looking for something else. Yeah, we get Hawaiian-type eruptions in the Pacific Northwest sometimes! I'll show you the results when we get a chance. Newberry Volcano and its cinder cones are awesome.
That concludes this edition of Geobits. Next, we'll be back to earthquakes as we dive in to the tectonics driving the Puerto Rican earthquake sequence.