kottke.org posts about volcanoes

Amazing drone footage of an erupting volcanoMar 15 2014

How this quad-copter shooting HD footage of a volcano erupting in Vanuatu manages to escape the flying chunks of lava is beyond me.

(via @DavidGrann)

Volcano-powered energy sourceJan 30 2014

A geothermal engineering project in Iceland drilled 1.3 miles into the Earth and unexpectedly hit a pocket of magma. Instead of capping the hole, as was done in a similar instance previously, they decided to see if they could harness the energy of the magma.

"Drilling into magma is a very rare occurrence, and this is only the second known instance anywhere in the world," Elders said. The IDDP and Iceland's National Power Company, which operates the Krafla geothermal power plant nearby, decided to make a substantial investment to investigate the hole further.

This meant cementing a steel casing into the well, leaving a perforated section at the bottom closest to the magma. Heat was allowed to slowly build in the borehole, and eventually superheated steam flowed up through the well for the next two years.

Elders said that the success of the drilling was "amazing, to say the least", adding: "This could lead to a revolution in the energy efficiency of high-temperature geothermal projects in the future."

The well funnelled superheated, high-pressure steam for months at temperatures of over 450°C -- a world record. In comparison, geothermal resources in the UK rarely reach higher than around 60-80°C.

The largest volcanic eruption in the last 3,700 yearsOct 01 2013

Scientists have discovered the source of a massive 13th century volcanic eruption: a volcano called Samalas on Indonesia's Lombok Island. The blast was eight times as powerful as Krakatoa.

Though the eruption was equatorial, its impact was felt and noted around the world. "The climate was disturbed for at least two years after the eruption," Lavigne said. Evidence of this was found in studies of tree rings that revealed abnormal growth rates, climate models, and historical records from as far afield as Europe."

Medieval chronicles, for example, describe the summer of 1258 as unseasonably cold, with poor harvests and incessant rains that triggered destructive floods -- a "year without a summer." The winter immediately following the eruption was warmer in western Europe, however, as would be expected from high-sulfur eruptions in the tropics. The team cites historical records from Arras (northern France) that speak of a winter so mild "that frost barely lasted for more than two days," and even in January 1258 "violets could be observed, and strawberries and apple trees were in blossom."

Note that at a volume of 40 km3 of debris, Samalas doesn't even come close to being on the list of the 40 most explosive volcanic eruptions in history, most of which happened millions of years ago. (via digg)

Screaming volcanoesJul 16 2013

Volcanoes "scream" before they erupt. And they also have a heartbeat of sorts. Listen to these surprisingly intense sounds emitted by a volcano in Alaska before it erupted. The first recording condenses 10 minutes of audio into 10 seconds, so you can hear the pre-eruption scream:

The second recording is of 10 hours of pre-eruption mini earthquakes condensed into one minute of audio.

The pause right before the eruption is Mother Nature dropping the beat. (via @DavidGrann)

Watch this idiot run on hot flowing lavaJun 18 2013

This might be the dumbest thing on YouTube, which is saying quite a lot.

Or maybe not...maybe running up flowing lava isn't the worst thing you can do with your life and limbs.

Crazy volcano footageOct 08 2010

You will never see anyone closer to a volcano than this.

There were also several comments urging Frodo to throw The Ring in. Oh, YouTube. (via clusterflock)

The stranded by volcano magazine is out nowSep 13 2010

Stranded, a single-issue magazine produced by people who were stranded by the volcanic ash cloud back in April, is now available for sale.

What we've made of it all is an 88-page souvenir of a moment in time when a non-life-threatening crisis hit the world, one for which nobody was to blame, and nobody knew how long it would last. People scrambled to find alternative routes home, any way, any how, or tried to make the best of wherever fate had placed them. It was a moment of unplanned disruption, never to be repeated in quite the same way. The perfect subject for a magazine, in fact.

Over 50 people contributed...it looks really nice.

European airspace timelapse, before and after the volcanoApr 27 2010

Here's European airspace shutting down as the ashcloud from Eyjafjallajokull drifts over the continent:

The music is an inspired choice. And here's European airspace starting back up again:

(via infosthetics)

Stranded by volcano magazineApr 20 2010

Attention designers, writers, photographers, illustrators, art directors: are you stranded in Europe or elsewhere by the volcanic ashcloud? Join Andrew Losowsky in producing a magazine.

If you'd like to be a part of the core creative team who will put together this impromptu publication, let me know as well. The only criterion for any contributor is that, like me, you have to be stuck somewhere unintentionally. If all goes well, the results will be published, probably via MagCloud and/or the Newspaper Club, and any proceeds sent to a charity that helps mitigate the effects of climate change on human populations. After all, we have to repent somehow.

Publication name to consider: The Eyjafjallajokull End-Times.

Tags related to volcanoes:
video magazines science Andrew Losowsky

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