Questions tagged [volcanology]

The properties and behaviour of volcanoes.

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13
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1answer
25k views

What are the high field strength and large ion lithophile (HFS or HFSE & LIL or LILE) elements?

There are two groups of elements that are frequently mentioned when discussing incompatible trace elements. They are the high field strength elements (HFS or HFSE) and the large ion lithophile ...
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2answers
795 views

What processes produced the basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway?

The Giant's Causeway is, according to the Wikipedia page was formed during during the Paleogene Period, Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity, when highly fluid molten basalt intruded ...
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1answer
534 views

Causes of fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen in past 300 Mya

I have two questions based on the history of atmospheric oxygen levels depicted below. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sauerstoffgehalt-1000mj2.png. The notes below the chart explain ...
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3answers
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Why don't scientists use fire entry suits to study volcanoes?

It seems like the only personal protective equipment (PPE) that volcanologists use are aluminized suits that don't provide any protection from direct contact with lava, making an unexpected splash ...
13
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1answer
283 views

What is likely to have happened with these newly discovered antarctic volcanos below the ice?

The Guardian article Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet highlights a recently published University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences discovery and cataloging of over ninety ...
13
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1answer
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Why does the “Ring of Fire” pretty much define “Pacific Rim”

The Pacific Rim is pretty much defined by the so-called "Ring of Fire." It consists of the "stomping ground" for a disproportionate number of earthquakes and volcanoes, and the affected territory ...
13
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1answer
440 views

Why would volcano eruption cause cardiac arrest?

Following recent eruption of Mt Ontake and the sad news of over 30 people found in 'cardiac arrest', why would the eruption cause it? My initial thought would be that the cause of death would ...
11
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1answer
258 views

Is this a former volcano in the Hamad Plateau, in the Syrian desert?

On my random explorations of google maps, I came across this interesting terrain: (link to map here) Apparently, this is part of the so-called Hamad Plateau, in the Syrian desert. If so, the rock ...
8
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1answer
736 views

Are coral cays and coral atolls just volcanic islands?

Are coral cays and coral atolls just a different type of volcanic island? When I hear: "volcanic island" I think at places like Moorea or Hawaii, but ultimately, coral cays and coral atolls lay their ...
8
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4answers
4k views

Can we reduce the scale of volcanic eruptions by drilling some canals or bombing some holes in the crater?

As we know, when large scale volcanic eruptions occurs, large amounts of ashes and lava rushed out at short time, is it possible to drill some canels or bomb some holes in the crater so that the gas ...
17
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3answers
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Why does Volcano Lightning occur?

There are many pictures I've seen of lightning coming out of the plume of smoke caused by a volcano (Often called 'Volcano Lightning'). Example: Why does this happen?
15
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1answer
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Can impact events cause widespread volcanic activity on the other side of the planet?

The currently accepted theory for P-T mass extinction is environmental change triggered by the Siberian Traps volcanic activity. A paper(1) suggests that the Siberian Traps were caused by a hotspot ...
13
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463 views

What, if any, paleoclimate data can be derived from igneous rocks?

Paleoclimate data often derives from sedimentary rocks. Metamorphic rocks can also contribute to paleoclimate information in a wide variety of ways. What about igneous rocks? I guess that this can ...
9
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1answer
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Was volcanic activity more prevalent when the dinosaurs roamed?

Popular film culture often depicts much volcanic activity during the time of the dinosaurs. Assuming "time of the dinosaurs" as the Jurassic (200 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (...
6
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0answers
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Basalt vs. columnar basalt

I recently visited a cliff on the south coast of Ulva in the Inner Hebrides where there are ~10m thick flows of columnar basalt. The columnar basalt forming most of the cliff is sandwiched between ...
19
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2answers
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Is there any consensus of what caused the Lusi Mud Volcano eruptions in Indonesia?

In May, 2006, the Lusi Mud Volcano in eastern Java, Indonesia came to life, smothering much of the surrounding land in mud. According to the article Indonesia's Infamous Mud Volcano Could Outlive ...
15
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6answers
704 views

Does volcanic activity fluctuate?

According to this person's surmises, volcanic activity appers to be increasing. However, according to this report, volcanic activity is probably not increasing. My question is: Does Volcanic activity ...
11
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1answer
229 views

What happens to the higher frequency content of the tremors associated with a volcanic eruption?

From [1]: The main characteristics of volcanic tremor depend strongly on whether a volcano is erupting explosively and on the intensity of the event. Long before an eruption, tremor is ‘narrow-...
11
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1answer
482 views

Are mantle plumes distributed around the core randomly or in a known pattern?

Background: The theory of mantle plumes is useful (although controversial) in explaining the occurrence of intra-plate volcanoes. The website here suggests that "hotspots" exist in fixed locations ...
11
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1answer
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Determining a rock age using volcanic ash layer

I wanted to know if volcanic ash deposits found in the geologic record are most useful in correlating the age of rock layers if the volcanic ash was distributed over a large area during a short period ...
18
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3answers
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Is the magma in one volcano different from the magma in every other volcano?

First off, a confession: I'm asking this question because of The Lord of the Rings. If you're not aware already, in the story, a magical ring can only be destroyed in a specific volcano. The reason ...
14
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3answers
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Why is there a line of volcanoes along the northwest coast of North America?

Mount Hood in Oregon is a dormant volcano, and in Washington Mount St. Helens and Mt. Ranier are both active volcanoes. What causes this line of volcanoes running parallel to the coastline along the ...
13
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1answer
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What is it about ancient craton geology that results in associated kimberlite pipes containing economic diamond deposits?

According to the Australian Geological Survey Organisation paper Kimberlite and lamproite diamond pipes (Jaques, 1998), economic deposits of volcanically-formed diamonds are restricted to ancient ...
10
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1answer
481 views

What geological processes affect the speed of Kilauea lava flows?

The recent lava flows from the current eruption from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii have generated a considerable amount of interest and concern for property. In the article slow-motion disaster as ...
9
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1answer
100 views

The Tambora eruption caused the “Year without a summer”. How much would such an eruption today affect the output of solar pv on a global scale?

Are there any estimates for the reduction of global solar insolation at the Earth's surface that a Tambora scale eruption would bring? If our electrical power generation became heavily reliant on ...
9
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1answer
573 views

How are data from tiltmeters used to monitor volcanic activity?

I've just learned in this answer that tiltmeters (which I assume measure changes in tilt) are used near active volcanos. (Saw a mention in item 4. here also.) What kind of geological (volcanological?)...
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1answer
338 views

How does the composition of volcanic rock change as it makes its ascent towards the surface?

A schematic for the fluid mechanics of a volcano is represented below. Graciously borrowed from Figure 1 of the reference cited below From the caption of that figure: During explosive eruptions, ...
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2answers
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Pyroclastic flow protection

Related to the question Why don't scientists use fire entry suits to study volcanoes?, where the issue of volcanologist protection against lava splatter and bombs is discussed. Another major and ...
8
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0answers
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Predicting volcanic eruptions by experimentally proven volatile outgassing observations

In the abstract for the article Forecasting Etna eruptions by real-time observation of volcanic gas composition (Aiuppa et al. 2007), the authors assert that real time monitoring of volcanic volatiles,...
7
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1answer
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What is the geochemical source for the helium detected in deep Arctic explosive eruptions?

Recently, there has been explosive deep-ocean volcanism detected along the slowly-spreading Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean (see map below), according the National Geographic news article Arctic ...
7
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2answers
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What are the tectonic implications of the Quaternary Igwisi Hills, Tanzania, kimberlite volcanics?

The Igwisi Hills Kimberlite volcanic features in Tanzania are described in the article Mapping the Igwisi Hills kimberlite volcanoes, Tanzania: understanding how deep-sourced mantle magmas behave at ...
7
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1answer
325 views

What ozone depleting chemicals can salt produce?

According to How Long Will Life Last On Earth, 250 million years ago Siberia underwent a large a prolonged period of volcanic activity. It has been speculated that large salt deposits that existed in ...
6
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1answer
787 views

Volcanoes in the Alps and Himalayas and the subduction of Tethys Sea

Geologist have theorized that the Tethys Sea subducted under Eurasian plates. But where are the volcanoes that would have resulted due to this? Where are the volcanoes in the Alps and the Himalayas?
5
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1answer
163 views

Yellowstone Eruption Possibility?

What is the probability of the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting during any given year? I had heard that it erupts once every 100,000 years. Does that mean there is a .001% chance of it erupting ...
4
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3answers
451 views

Is the term “fertile ash” a misnomer?

I understand that volcanic ash contains minerals and can make soil more fertile. But I've also heard the term "fertile ash" in some documentary (I have forgotten in what context). Is that a ...
4
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1answer
580 views

Are volcanoes formed from earthquakes?

I know that some earthquakes are caused by volcanoes and that some earthquakes can trigger volcanic eruptions close to where the earthquake is. But what if a great earthquake(8.0 or above) occurs and ...