Featured image: A fissure cone of Kīlauea (Hawaii) erupting during the 2018 eruptive episode. via Wikimedia commons (Public domain)
Paper: Role of volatiles in highly explosive basaltic eruptions.
Authors: Giuseppe La Spina, Fabio Arzilli, Mike R. Burton, Margherita Polacci, Amanda B. Clarke
When we think of Hawaii or Iceland, the first thing that comes to mind is volcanoes. Lava fountains spew out basaltic lava, which silently meanders its way to the ocean. The notion that basaltic eruptions are always less explosive compared to other types like rhyolitic and andesitic eruptions is not entirely true. For example, Mount Etna in Italy has produced highly explosive basaltic eruptions such as the 122 BCE Plinian Eruption and another in 1669. Because highly explosive basaltic eruptions are not very common, they’re not fully understood leaving scientists wondering “What could be the reason behind this erratic behaviour?”
Continue reading “Understanding highly explosive basaltic eruptions using simulations”
Featuring image: Erruption of the Raikoke Volcano on June 22, 2019. Volcanos can exhaust a large amount of gases and dust during eruptions. Is this enough to create an atmosphere on the Moon? NASA’s Earth Observatory, public domain (CC0).
Paper: Polar Ice Accumulation from Volcanically Induced Transient Atmospheres on the Moon
Authors: A. X. Wilcoski, P. O. Hayne and M. E. Landis
The Moon is a silent and dry, yet beautiful desert. Where it comes from and how much ice exits is still a mystery. It can be found in the darkness of its pole regions as ice. Surprisingly, the eruptions of volcanos might have helped the Moon to keep its water.
The gas that is set free during a volcano eruption contains different volatile molecules, including water. On small celestial objects without an atmosphere like the moon, most of the gases are released to space. A new study suggests that not all water vapour from such eruptions escaped from the Moon during its history. Instead, local and short-lived atmospheres might have formed during eruptions, allowing a part of the water vapour to cool down and deposit as snow and ice.
Continue reading “Ice from fire – When volcanos let it snow”
Featured image: a mushroom shaped volcanic plume arising from the explosive activity of Redoubt volcano, Alaska in 1990. Credit: R. Clucas.
Paper: Caldera Collapse and Volcanic Resurfacing in Arabia Terra Provide Hints of Vast Under-Recognized Early Martian Volcanism
Authors: Yin Yau Yoyo Chu, Joseph R. Michalski, Shawn P. Wright, A. Alexander G. Webb.
Mars is a planet of extreme highs and lows containing the solar system’s largest volcano – Olympus Mons – and the largest canyon system – Valles Marineris. Tharsis and Elysium, the planet’s two largest volcanic provinces, are young surface features that were built by basaltic volcanism throughout the Amazonian, the most recent geological era on Mars.
Continue reading “Ancient Explosive Volcanoes on Mars”
Featured Image: Yosemite National Park, California, USA by Thomas H. from Pixabay
Paper: Feldspar recycling across magma mush bodies during the voluminous Half Dome and Cathedral Peak stages of the Tuolumne intrusive complex, Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Authors: Louis F. Oppenheim, Valbone Memeti, Calvin G. Barnes, Melissa Chambers, Joachim Krause, and Rosario Esposito
Earth’s landscapes provide evidence of the geological processes which have shaped it over the past 4 billion years. The Earth’s crust, our planet’s outermost layer, preserves an extensive record of these processes. Within the crust igneous rocks which were once molten at depth and fed active volcanic eruptions, preserve evidence of the inner workings of volcanoes. These inner workings or “magmatic plumbing systems” are the focus of recent work by Oppenheim et al. (2021). In this work, Oppenheim and co-authors studied the crystal record of fossilized plumbing systems in order to provide new insights into the storage conditions and transport mechanisms of magma within Earths’ crust.
Continue reading “What Lies Beneath: Tracing Magma Interactions Within Earth’s Crust”
Paper: Lightning-induced weathering of Cascadian volcanic peaks
Authors: Jonathan M. Castro, Franziska Keller, Yves Feisel, Pierre Lanari, Christoph Helo, Sebastian P. Mueller, C. Ian Schipper, Chad Thomas
The bright flashes followed by the loud thunderclaps of large storms are inherently transient, but a recent study by Castro et al proposes a new approach to investigating the history of storm activity and extreme weather events on Earth: through fossilized lightning strikes, or fulgurites.
Continue reading “When Lightning Strikes! Fulgurite Formation and Earth’s Weather”