Saturday, December 16, 2017

Volcanoes Can Be Beautiful - From a Respectful Distance.

Today's emails brought a "year in review"-type article from a friend, but this one was a photo essay on "The Year in Volcanic Activity" over at The Atlantic.
While this has been a relatively average year for the world's active volcanoes, the activity that did take place was spectacular. Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2017, erupting volcanoes included Shiveluch in Russia, Villarrica in Chile, Mount Sinabung and Mount Agung in Indonesia, Turrialba in Costa Rica, Piton de la Fournaise on Réunion Island, Kilauea on Hawaii, Popocatepetl and Volcán de Colima in Mexico, Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska, Manaro Voui in Vanuatu, Mount Etna in Sicily, and more.
Piton de la Fournaise on Réunion Island, an "overseas department" of France in the Indian Ocean.  The long-time exposure shows both a lightning storm and the orange glow of molten lava from the volcano.  February 3, 2017.

Two views of Mt. Etna in Sicily, both are dated last February 28.
Daytime view from up close.
Nighttime view from a saner distance. You can see from the angle of the lava stream that the viewing angle isn't exactly the same, but it's the volcano and the cooling lava seen in the daytime shot. 

There's a total of 40 photos.  Well worth your while if you like this topic.


  1. There are two volcanoes within 50 miles of here, one being much closer than the other.
    The infamous Mt. St. Helens is probably forty miles away and Mt. Hood just out of Portland is probably right at 50. I see both of them daily while driving to work.
    I watched Mt. St. Helens erupt several times back in 80-81 from closer than I am now and can tell you without a doubt that it is something you will never forget and it also makes you realize just how insignificant people are in the larger scheme of things.

    1. I’ve been to both MSH and Mt. Hood. Like you say, seeing the missing side of MSH is a slap of reality about the larger scheme of things.

  2. My ship was spending a few days anchored near Naples and I took the opportunity to go to Pompeii while there to go up Mount Vesuvius and look into the crater.
    As I stood on the rim looking down into the crater I saw steam and realized there is a huge difference between extinct and dormant.
    It was a bit unsettling.

    1. There are those who say the line between dormant and extinct is a bit less distinct.

      One of the things I’ve read is that a big eruption like Mt. Saint Helens plugs the volcano and they don’t erupt that way again. I saw in that article about Etna that it erupted like MSH thousands of years ago and has been observed erupting almost ever since.