Could you survive a pyroclastic flow?

Frey Fyfe Among the many hazards posed by subduction zone volcanoes, some of the deadliest and most viscerally terrifying are pyroclastic density currents (PDCs), ground-hugging clouds of gas and fragmented magma (ash) that can reach temperatures of 1000°C. The very largest can reach speeds of up to 700 km/h and typically travel up to 15km... Continue Reading →

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So Hot Right Now: Triggered

Amber L. Madden-Nadeau The explosion of Krakatau in 1883 attracted a significant amount of attention, as discussed in my previous blog: The Explosive Roars of Krakatau. You would be forgiven, therefore, for believing that we’ve discovered all there is to know about one of the world’s most famous volcanoes and its most explosive eruption. However,... Continue Reading →

So hot right now: My first volcano

Amber L. Madden-Nadeau As we approached Krakatau by boat, it was hard to believe that this was the site of the catastrophic eruption in 1883 that killed around 35,000 people. All of the islands were very much alive: green and forested, containing all manner of wildlife (Figure 1). The birds were singing and giant lizards... Continue Reading →

So hot right now: A tale of two lovers

Amber L. Madden-Nadeau Popocatepetl - more colloquially known as “Popo” – means “smoking mountain” and is an active volcano just 60 km from Mexico City (Figure 1) with 20 million people living within this catchment area. It stands right next to Iztaccihuatl or “Izta”, an extinct volcano with multiple peaks. Iztaccihuatl means “white woman”, with... Continue Reading →

So Hot Right Now: Volcanology 101

Amber L. Madden-Nadeau A volcano is defined as “a naturally occurring vent or fissure at the Earth's surface through which erupt molten, solid, and gaseous materials”.  Volcanoes come in many different shapes and sizes and have many different eruptive styles. They are most often found on the margins of the tectonic plates that comprise the Earth’s crust... Continue Reading →

Using mythology to inform geology

Isabelle Taylor There are many forms of volcanic activity, from explosive eruptions with clouds of ash and pyroclastic flows, to lava flows which creep over the surrounding landscape. These phenomena shape the lives of communities who live with these threats, and in many cases folklore develops to explain what is happening. On the Pacific Island... Continue Reading →

Meet the… Volcanologist

Name: Isabelle Taylor Age: 24 Year of Study: 2 Research Groups: I am part of the Volcanology research group in Earth Sciences and the Earth Observation group in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics. I am also part of NERC’s Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET). What exactly do you... Continue Reading →

Meet the… Igneous Petrologist/ Volcanologist

Name: Frey Fyfe Age: 23 Year of Study: 2 Research Group: I’m part of the Volcanology groups at Oxford University and the Natural History Museum in London. What are you researching: My research deals with trying to understand how volcanoes at subduction zones produce major explosive eruptions. Most of the time these volcanoes sit there quietly, gently releasing gas and... Continue Reading →

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