Volcanos / Volcanoes

rynner2

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#1
Now that Mount Etna is erupting again (brilliant satellite photos on the link) it seems a good time to ask whether there are any good Fortean stories about volcanoes. Or have we become so used to the scientific descriptions of them that they no longer have an other worldly aura?

Certainly in the past they were regarded as manifestations of the gods; more recently SF writers thought extinct volcanoes might lead to the centre of the Earth.

Historically they have been considered as the cause of the downfall of civilizations, in the Med and elsewhere. Then there are tales of Pompei and Herculaneum.

Volcano stories please!
 

rynner2

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#2
I have just watched 'Time Team', which was about the wreck of HMS Colossus in the Scilly Isles. It seems the ship was bringing back from Naples an archaeological collection belonging to Sir William Hamilton (husband of Emma, the lover of Lord Nelson).

William was an amateur archaeologist who had taken part in excavations in Pompeii and Herculaneum....

What are the chances of that happening, eh?
 

marion

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#3
Cool pics-seems Europe is hotting up a bit recently , with the Earthquakes here and in Italy and Mt Etna going off . Wonder if it the start if a trend ?
 
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Anonymous

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#4
Certainly seems that way, the nearest plate margin which could cause fault movement like that seen in Manchester area is the Africa/Europe plate.....the Mid Atlantic ridge isnt that powerful.

So yea theres probably been an increase in subduction of these two plates causing the recent activity
 

rynner2

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#6
Billyjoe said:
Strangely as a geologist id like to see this happen in my life time, but as a human, im dreading it. Its a strange mix of emmotions.
No doubt the Taliban and similarly minded folk would like to see it too, and would consider it a judgement of Allah on the infidel...
 

carole

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#7
Good theory by the Moslem extremists, Rynner, it's a shame that one of the active volcanic areas (around Indonesia) has a large Moslem population. What will happen to them when/if Anak Krakatau and its like explode? Will Allah perhaps come down in a chariot of fire and whisk them all to safety, leaving the infidels behind?

Carole
 
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Anonymous

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#8
volcano power

Anybody ever seen a halfway feasible way of controlling or using the power of volcanoes?
outside of Bond films, that is
steve b
 

rynner2

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#9
Re: volcano power

Eburacum45 said:
Anybody ever seen a halfway feasible way of controlling or using the power of volcanoes?
I believe in Iceland they have at least one power station which uses volcanic heat.

Here's an amusing article about a Guardian cock-up reporting on the subject.

There has even been investigation into the possibility of exporting electric power from Iceland to Norway and Britain - it's green and renewable, but not currently economic.

On another site I found this, pointing out the dangers in a volcanic environment:

Krafla Geothermal Power Station

Krafla Power Station went on steam 1977. Production capacity is 60 MW with two turbines

Krafla fires

A series of nine volcanic eruptions began near the station 1975 and lasted until 1984. No harm was done.

The Blue Lagoon

Waste water from the geothermal power station is used for bathing and production of skin lotions.
 
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Anonymous

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#10
Years ago - well the early 80's anyway - when I was at school I'm sure I remember reading/being told (probably in a geology lesson) about a plan to tap into geothermal energy in Cornwall. There's a large batholith under Cornwall which is stilll comparatively warm and the idea was to sink a shaft down and use the heat to power turbines. Obviously nothing ever came of it, but I've always wondered whether it might one day be practical - and it's as 'green' as it's possible to get.
 

lopaka

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#11
Well, not strictly Fortean, but have had a couple of quite trippy volcano experiences. Just walking around the caldera of Kilauea is VERY weird, seeing where the Earth is being created and all that, plus sulphur banks, and the rest....very odd. And sleeping at 10,000 ft on Mauna Loa, seeing a field of stars one never knew existed is a once in a lifetime experience. Otherworldly in the extreme.

There was some talk of a geothermal power plant off of the Big Island of Hawai'i some years ago, but I don't believe it ever got off the ground, so to speak.
 
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Anonymous

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#12
Prospect said:
Years ago - well the early 80's anyway - when I was at school I'm sure I remember reading/being told (probably in a geology lesson) about a plan to tap into geothermal energy in Cornwall. There's a large batholith under Cornwall which is stilll comparatively warm and the idea was to sink a shaft down and use the heat to power turbines. Obviously nothing ever came of it, but I've always wondered whether it might one day be practical - and it's as 'green' as it's possible to get.

I do believe that actually went ahead, remember seeing a little clip of something in the Cornwall area just as you describe, will look it up
 
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Anonymous

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#13
lopaka said:
There was some talk of a geothermal power plant off of the Big Island of Hawai'i some years ago, but I don't believe it ever got off the ground, so to speak.
The Americans tried to drill to the centre of the Earth on Hawai, was called the Mohole Project, surfice to say it didnt get very far
 
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Anonymous

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#14
Billyjoe said:
The Americans tried to drill to the centre of the Earth on Hawai, was called the Mohole Project, suffice to say it didn't get very far
yeah, they were trying to get to the Mohorovicic Discontinuity, or Moho which is about 20km down or so.
They drilled 601 feet deep in 11,000 ft of water, which was pretty amazing at the time, but then it got cancelled.
steve b
 

rynner2

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#15
BE THERE!

Volcano webcams!

It's night in Italy at present, but I caught some activity on Stromboli a few minutes ago! :)

There are also archived pics to look at.
 

lopaka

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#16
Well Ryn, you've inspired me. Try as I might, though, I couldn't find a webcam with an active link. But for some spectacular images from Hawai'i from the first half of November look here
 

rynner2

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#17
The stromboli link is working. There seem to be small eruptions every few minutes that coincide with the webcam.

Here's one I caught earlier (!) (Actually I saw a bigger one shortly after, from the right hand vent, but it refreshed before I could get a screen capture.)
 
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Anonymous

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#19
In the mid-80's I was working in Indonesia and managed to visit 20+ volcanoes, mostly active. All were very atmospheric. The one that stands out most was Keli Mutu on Flores. It's famous for 3 crater lakes all of different colours. When I was there (1985) one was dark red, one was light-blue and the other was green-blue. The craters are spherical, about 500m across and 300m from rim to top of the lakes. The sides of the craters of vertical.
While I was walking around them I decided to chuck some rocks in. Local tradition has it that the lakes are inhabited by various spirits (souls of virgins, warriors etc...) and I thought it would be fun to try and stir them up. It must be boring inhabiting crater lakes for years on end. I took a hand sized rock and lobbed it in. I lost sight of the rock on it's way down and saw no splash, so I decided to throw something bigger. I then spent the next hour throwing rocks of all sizes into the lakes without any success. In every case I lost sight of the rock and didn't hear or see any splash. Eventually I got bored and left. I figured that the walls of the craters weren't actually vertical and that it was only an optical illusion that they were. As I was leaving a large slab of the rim, about the size of a house, collapsed into the lake 50m from where I was standing. As I couldn't see into the lake I didn't see it fall into the lake, but there was no sound at all.
A couple of days later I met a bloke in a cafe in Ende, the main town on Flores. He asked me if I'd visited Keli Mutu. I said I had. He asked me if I'd try to throw any rocks into the lakes. Again I said I had. He asked me if any had landed in any lakes, I told him no and it was strange because the walls of the craters were vertical and I was standing right on the edge. He said due to a strong magnetic field around the craters it was impossible to to hit the lakes.
In the mid-90's I was working as a geologist for an exploration company in Indonesia. One of our contracts covered Flores. We carried out an aeromagnetic survey of most of the island. Unfortunately Keli Mutu was just outside our contract area and wasn't fully covered by the survey. The portions of the survey that did cover the outer slopes of the Keli Mutu region showed nothing unusual for volcanic areas in that part of the world. I wasn't involved in field work on the Flores contract, so I haven't had a chance to revisit Keli Mutu, but I can tell you next time I visit I'll spend as long as it takes to throw something in, even if I have to climb down the crater wall.

Separately, about driiling into the Moho. I thought it was a joint Russia-Finland project drilling somewhere near their border. The area has thin crust due to the weight of ice during the last ice age that is still slowly rebounding. In 1987, I think I read, they were down to about 10km drilling through a sort of high grade metamorphosed granite called eclogite, and they were having lots of technical problems.

Cheers
 

rynner2

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#20
Interesting post, Grunt. But magnetic fields don't seem likely to affect thrown rocks, even if they do happen to be magnetic. More likely to be a perspective problem, with the water a lot further away than it looks. Or, as you say, the crater sides weren't vertical (vertical sides would not last very long in that environment!) Or perhaps the water was so 'soupy' - like mud, perhaps, that it wouldn't splash.

I've been watching the webcams again this morning. The Etna one is u/s, Stromboli is smoking away, and 'Vulcano' gave a nice view of the sunrise - or was it a UFO hovering there...!
 

Bosbaba

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#21
Silly question but if you were sitting on top of a caldera would you not look into ways of bleeding off the gas and magma to reduce the pressure under the cap? seems that this would have the potential of sound economic benefits and increase the lifespan of said habitat/humans.
 
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Anonymous

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#22
theres a Village in El Salvador called 'Joya de Ceren' that was Perfectly preserved in Volcanic ash around 600 ad.

Joya de Ceren was a pre-Hispanic farming community that, like Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy, was buried under a volcanic eruption around 600 A.D. Because of the exceptional condition of the remains, the site provides a view of the daily lives of the Central American populations who worked the land at that time.
I can't find much info on it, but i read somewhere that no human remains have been found, suggesting the villagers had plenty of time/warning to evacuate.

Haven't visited but i plan to sometime next year. finances permitting!

http://whc.unesco.org/sites/675.htm

http://ceren.colorado.edu/bibliography.html
 

rynner2

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#23
The biggest eruption ever witnessed -

was on Io!

Huge volcanic eruption on Jupiter's volcanic moon Io in 2001 turns up in early telescope tests.
 
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Anonymous

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#24
gruntcake said:
In the mid-80's I was working in Indonesia and managed to visit 20+ volcanoes, mostly active. All were very atmospheric. The one that stands out most was Keli Mutu on Flores.

-snip-

. I figured that the walls of the craters weren't actually vertical and that it was only an optical illusion that they were
-snip again-

He said due to a strong magnetic field around the craters it was impossible to to hit the lakes.
Well, looking at this photo
the sides of the crater look very steep, nearly vertical. So I can see the problem.
Of course magnetic rocks might lead the compass astray, like they do in the Cuillins I believe, but would have (almost) no effect on falling rocks, even magnetite. Perhaps a pure iron meteorite...
nah.
It must be a perspective thing- to hit the lake you would need to throw a rock the full horizontal distance- which would be a lot further than it looks.

steve b
 

Melf

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#26
This is not a joke/flamer!! I really am interested

I don't know if anyone remembers this but, in the first Superman film, Lex Luthor tried to cause a massive earthquake with the use of nukes.

Also, in a book by Arthur C Clarke and another author (can't remember who) it was proposed that you could fuse the tectonic plates together by utilizing nukes at strategic points.

What I was wondering was; assuming you actually did this, wouldn't M N simply create another fault-line elsewhere or stress an existing fault to breaking point. Surely it couldn't be as simple as that!?

p.s. this isn't melfokbeard (you can probably tell from the spelling). For some reason, I can't register myself on the board (we're using the same stupid jumped-up excuse for a calculator!!)
 
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Anonymous

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#27
Yes!

It would'nt work and if it did...it would'nt last and new fissures would open up.

Why might you be accused of being a flamer and what do you mean when you say that you are not melforkbeard?
 

Melf

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#29
St Clair

Thanks for confirming it for me; I had a feeling that that would be the case. However you have to admit to some degree of interest I suppose (probably not, though)

I only said it wasn't a flamer because 'er indoors said it was a good idea.

As regards to me not being 'er indoors, as I stated, we're using the same stupid jumped-up excuse for a calculator (my computer, incidentally) and e-mail address. Near as I can figure it, FT will only allow one registered user on the account and, as I coudn't find the guest area, 'er indoors allowed me to post these replies.

besides 'er indoors can't spel prper!! (guess who's the bitch of this group!!?)
 
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Anonymous

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#30
well

being an optimist (sometimes), perhaps eventually there will be a way of defusing big earthquakes in the distant future
(read more than two hundred years from now)
by causing lots of little earthquakes to allow the same relative movement
this could be done by little nukes, injecting water, and/or advanced computer modelling (perhaps using catastrophe theory)
and this could also perhaps regulate magma chambers etc
but like I said
pure moonshine
steve b
 
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