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   Tony Shepps  Thursday Aug 2 10:55 AM

8/2: Volcanic stuff

First, this one is not from Etna; it shows the effect called a "skylight", where lava is flowing underneath the cooled surface rock. Would you walk on that platform?

There seem to be no end of excellent video images coming out of Etna, but my usual haunts don't have many good shots. At least, everything I've seen has been relatively uninteresting. This might be the best of the lot; a cable car hut that was just eaten. A real, live human structure taken out.

Another satellite image as the ash plume almost makes it across the Mediterranean. This makes me think of ancient people that didn't know of volcanoes across the seas, and what they would think if an incredible plume of smoke appeared on the horizon and eventually blew into their town.

Shivetya  Thursday Aug 2 11:18 AM

How much particle content?

I wonder if anyone is measuring the "plume" content, as in volume of material and what hazardous content there is?

I would love to see just what Mother Nature can do, remembering that Pintabu (spelling) supposedly beat man out easily when it went off.

lisa  Thursday Aug 2 12:40 PM

Re: 8/2: Volcanic stuff

Originally posted by Tony Shepps
First, this one is not from Etna; it shows the effect called a "skylight", where lava is flowing underneath the cooled surface rock. Would you walk on that platform?
Well, if you stop and think about it, isn't that what we are all doing, every day? Of course, the platform is a LOT thicker, but nevertheless...

Shivetya  Thursday Aug 2 01:06 PM

Even if we do it everyday

It needs to be taken into context with what Mother Nature can do.

To ignore what effects a volcanic eruption has is the same as ignoring what man does.

Some of these put up enough particles to reduce the amount of sunlight hitting the earth. We have hurricanes that have measurable effects on the earths rotation.

I just find it "cool" just how insignificant man is on this planet.

CyclopONE  Thursday Aug 2 04:15 PM

Re: How much particle content?

Originally posted by Shivetya
I would love to see just what Mother Nature can do, remembering that Pintabu (spelling) supposedly beat man out easily when it went off.
Yeah, Pinatobo(sp?) was a big eruption. However, you should take a look at the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 in Indonesia. Some quick facts:

-the explosion was heard as far away as Australia.
-After the eruption, only 1/3 of the island remained, the rest having been sunk into the ocean.
-the total amounts of ash, dust, etc, was enough to lower global temperatures by 1.2C. Global temps did not return to normal until 1888, five years after the eruption.
-The total energy released by the eruption was about 200 MegaTons of TNT. By comparison, the Hiroshima bomb was only 20 KiloTons.

I'm always in awe of the power of Mother Nature's fury. If you've ever seen a tornado in person, you'll know what I mean.


elSicomoro  Friday Aug 3 03:49 PM

Speaking of Pinatubo

I remember I was visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in the summer of 1992. And I remember overhearing one of the workers/guides explaining to someone that temperatures were cooler that summer was because of Mt. Pinatubo's eruption. It makes sense now that I think about it--all the ash spewed during the eruption spread all over and caused more cloud cover than usual. Now whether this was actually the case, who knows, as I was only overhearing this. But it sounds plausible.

Whit  Saturday Aug 4 12:11 AM

It sounds plausible enough, but still you'd think just the presence of lava would warm up the area. It's hard to say by the dress of the people in the picture.
Of course the first thing I thought of when I saw this was Godzilla so what do I know...

Katkeeper  Saturday Aug 4 08:00 AM

In a book called In Control of Nature, John McPhee tells of people on Iceland protecting their harbor by pouring cold sea water onto the lava to cause it to solidify. It worked, but nature being what it is, one wonders for how long...

Also, there is a theory that volcanic eruptions, explosions, changed the temperature enough to destroy the vegetation that dinosaurs ate, hastening their demise.

alphageek31337  Sunday Aug 5 03:23 AM

actually, we're pretty sure that soemthing big slammed into us from outer space, I think the latest scientific belief (as science truly is a cover for the Cult of Logic, but hey, I don't mind, it lets my head feel better) is that it hit somewhere around/in the Gulf of Mexico. There's your nugget for the day, now I go back to my guitar....later

jaguar  Sunday Aug 5 05:01 AM

Yea i ahve to agree with alpha, that is the accept cause pretty much, of course another theory could come along otmrrow, thats the beauty of the cult of sciene over religion, it can admit its wrong and change paths.

Katkeeper  Sunday Aug 5 07:36 AM

The volcanic theory was advanced before the meteor (or whatever crashed into us) theory. At the end of an era there is often a lot of volcanic activity, which is why the theory was suggested.

Life is tenuous -- better enjoy it!!

jaguar  Monday Aug 6 02:46 AM


jaguar  Monday Aug 6 02:46 AM

ohhhhhh........pardon my pretentious religion comment - i was in a n arrogant mood obviosuly

Katkeeper  Monday Aug 6 06:34 AM

And you are totally right with saying another theory can come along tomorrow. That is - if tomorrow ever comes, considering the effects of volcanic activity, meteors, and the like. We had a meteor here in the East recently which I missed, having been in Califormia at the time. Many saw the flash in the sky and it was thought by some to have landed in a corn field in northern Pennsylvania.

jaclyn8700  Tuesday Apr 11 09:25 PM

WOW . those pictures are beautiful..

mitheral  Thursday Apr 13 03:07 PM

The first one is so surreal it looks like a 'shop job.

Ibby  Thursday Apr 20 06:35 AM

People were talking about Pinatubo back there...

Pinatubo put ash over two miles straight up in the first few minutes of eruption.
The ash cloud left the area in pitch darkness for almost 24 hours, visibility at like, 100 feet.

And it wasn't the biggest in "recent" history, as CyclopONE said.

And guess who lives at the foot of a "dormant" volcano? (you know they're never reeeeeeally gone...)

Yangminshan, the one rigth behind my apartment, put almost a kilometer of ash down over Taipei, ten or fifteen thousand years ago.

And I'm sure some of you've heard what'll happen if Yellowstone goes up? It's about due for a supereruption, sometime in the next... ten thousand years.

nyet  Tuesday May 9 10:52 PM

yes. they are stunning.

floatingk  Wednesday May 10 08:50 AM

This reminds me of high school in New Zealand and the volcano by Lake Taupo erupted. You could see the lava flow at night from Te Kuiti and wake up nose burning and cars covered in ash, sometimes an inch thick. I think it only took one car dealership to learn the rest of em that volcanic ash and water removes paint due to the high sulfuric something content, ie acid...

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