Questions tagged [volcanology]

The properties and behaviour of volcanoes.

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255 views

Why would magma have high amounts of nickel and chromium?

I am doing a research project on Mount Lamington and through my research I have found that its magma has unusually high amounts of chronium and nickel. What would cause this to happen? Is there ...
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Why do Volcanoes give out so much Sulphur Dioxide and Carbon Dioxide?

From my understanding, the mantle is in a highly reduced state, so I can't understand why a volcano would give off a highly oxidised gas such as sulphur dioxide. Carbon dioxide is too an oxidised ...
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What is the geothermal potential of a volcano?

If there were lots of geothermal plants—even mobile ones—near a volcano, how much power could this provide? Could the sapping of some of the heat energy make the volcano less likely to erupt?
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What geological events could cause a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) level 9 eruption?

The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) is a way of measuring the relative explosiveness of volcanic eruptions, allowing for comparisons between volcanoes. According to the USGS Volcanic Hazards page, ...
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What is the geochemical origin of carbon dioxide with the 'white smokers' of the Champagne Vent?

Associated with the NW Eifuku volcano, a small submarine volcano in Japan's Volcano Island chain in the Pacific Ocean is a carbon dioxide rich hydrothermal vents called white smokers by NOAA (see ...
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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 ...
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Would a volcanic winter trigger an oceanic “spring”?

There is large amounts of observations supporting the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate: A long term subtle warming effect due to $\ce{CO_2}$ and a short term, but more intense cooling effect ...
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Why are the latest additions to the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain the highest?

The Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain stretches from Russia to the Hawaiian islands. When I look at them on a map, it seems that the oldest seamounts by Russia are shorter and smaller than the newer ...
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Can human activity affect volcanoes?

As part of a course on Natural Disasters, I have a group presentation in which we focus on a specific natural disaster. One of the questions we have to address is how human activity may have affected ...
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What are these “ship wrecks” (pictured) in the old volcano crater?

They consists of stone, of course, but have strange U cross section, as if they were the remaining of some ships without the head and tail section. Could anyone tell how have they formed? They almost ...
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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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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 (...
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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 ...
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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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What are the factors that dictate a given topology for seismometer placement around a volcano?

The image below (borrowed from [#1]) shows the topology of the seismometers around the volcano Stromboli. In the text, they explain the following: The seimometers were set on the flanks of the ...
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Any other fumarolic ice caves in the literature? [closed]

I study the fumarolic ice caves of Erebus Volcano, and am looking for published research on similar sorts of caves. My criteria for a "fumarolic ice cave" are that it must be: A gas-filled void space ...
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Why does New Zealand and cold countries have volcanoes?

I understand that volcanoes are caused by the heat that causes high intense pressure below the Earth's surface. This intense pressure gets released and causes magna which becomes hot lava to flow out ...
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What causes a volcano? [closed]

Inspired by the question, How does one measure what causes earthquakes?, I'd like to know what causes another great geological phenomenon - volcanoes?
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Why did it take so long to discover the volcanic nature of mid-oceanic ridges?

I just read this article and was astonished to see the following: Oceanographers stumbled on [the mid-oceanic ridges'] volcanic nature in 1973. What I find surprising is how recent that is. ...
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Can volcanos cause isostatic depression

Isostatic depression is normally associated with glaciation, but can other geologic processes result in similar behavior of the lithosphere? Especially, can the weight of a volcano cause the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What conditions could produce 50 km long lava tubes?

Detection of a new 50 km long lava tube in the Moon has just been reported. See JAXA probe finds 50-km cavern under surface of the moon, this JAXA news page (the English page has not yet been updated, ...
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Will a volcano erupt in Australia soon?

A Science Daily article Volcanic eruptions long overdue in SE Australia (University of Melbourne, 2011), suggests that a volcanic eruption is potentially "long overdue" in south-east Australia (south-...
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Is the iron on Earth's crust a leftover of the Iron catastrophe, or it was brought back by volcanoes?

When pondering the hypothesis of the Iron catastrophe, that seem to be widely accepted nowadays. It surprises me that currently the crust still contain a significant amount of Iron (5.6% in weight). ...
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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 ...
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Magma resultant from group 1 and group 2 elements?

I was recently speaking with a geology professor over lunch at a university who has a theory that I've never heard before. His postulation was quite compelling and I was hoping to do a little digging ...
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What causes the entrainment of atmospheric gases towards a volcanic ash/tephra plume?

I understand that volcanic ash plumes can only rise to great heights (e.g. 50km) with the help of some other processes, as the velocity of the material ejected isn't great enough to send it high into ...
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Are there measurement techniques that can help determine the exact geometry of a volcanic vent?

In a previous question What happens to the higher frequency content of the tremors associated with a volcanic eruption?, I asked about the high(er) frequency content of a volcanic eruption. In the ...
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What is the most powerful natural catastrophic event on record?

Natural catastrophic events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts releases vast amount of energy. What is the most powerful single event of such nature ever recorded ...
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What caused the high temperatures that resulted in the Cretaceous aged komatiite lavas of Gorgona Island, Colombia?

According to the San Diego State University (SDSU) webpage Unusual Lava Types, komatiite is ultramafic volcanic rocks, having very low silica contents (~40-45%) and very high $\ce{MgO}$ contents (~...
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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,...
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A circle shape in Madagascar

I was seeing Madagascar on Google Maps and accidentally i saw a circle shape near Bebao. Coordinates are 17.4317443°E and 44.644248°S. Please, to satisfy my curiosity, can you tell me why is this ...
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What caused a measurable patch of Mt. St. Helens' ash to be deposited across Oklahoma?

Looking at the ashfall distribution map from the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens (below), there is a measured 'patch' of ash depth significant enough to be measured occurring in Oklahoma. What caused ...
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Is there an earth science discipline, or subdiscipline, that only studies magma or lava?

I know volcanologists study volcanoes. Is there a subdiscipline that only studies maga or lava? A magmatologist?
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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 ...
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What is the origin of the Laacher See caldera magma in Germany?

The Laacher See is a volcanic crater lake in Germany, with a diameter of 2 km (1.2 mi) in Rhineland-Palatinate area, approximately 24 km (15 mi) northwest of Koblenz and 37 km (23 mi) south of Bonn, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Do different lavas have different volcanic volatiles associated with them?

This question was inspired by the question Predicting volcanic eruptions by experimentally proven volatile outgassing observations Depending on the type of volcano, three types of lava are released ...
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Is there a 'standard size' for volcanic eruptions in terms of gas output?

We saw recently the Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajökull produced significant gaseous output that impacted the flight paths of several planes. When we look at volcanic gas components, we see they ...