GMPV
Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology

Volcanic hazards

Fire, Fog, Frost, Famine – French Revolution? The Lakagígar eruption in Iceland, 1783-1784 [Part 2]

Fire, Fog, Frost, Famine – French Revolution? The Lakagígar eruption in Iceland, 1783-1784 [Part 2]

PART II: Were the Haze Hardships caused by Men? Famine Before the Lakagígar eruption, the population of Iceland was 48810 people; four years later, it was down to 38518. Disregarding about 1500 deaths which were caused by a smallpox epidemic, the eruption may still have killed about 1/6 of the population [5]. These deaths were not directly caused by the lava or by toxic gases. The main cause was h ...[Read More]

Fire, Fog, Frost, Famine – French Revolution? The Lakagígar eruption in Iceland, 1783-1784 [Part 1]

Fire, Fog, Frost, Famine – French Revolution? The Lakagígar eruption in Iceland, 1783-1784 [Part 1]

“On the 8th of June 1783, at Whitsun, there gushed forth from the mountains behind the summer pastures a fire which devastated land, cattle and humans with its effects, both nearby and far away”, wrote Reverend Jón Steingrímsson of Kirkjubæjarklaustur in his autobiography [2]. The “fire” which welled up from a volcanic fissure now known as Lakagígar (the craters of Mount Laki) was the biggest floo ...[Read More]

Building a lava dome: one block at a time

Building a lava dome: one block at a time

Lava domes form when lava is extruded from a volcanic vent, but is too viscous to flow far away. Think of thick treacle that does not flow as easily as runny honey, and so when it is extruded, it forms a “lava pile” around the vent. Lava domes commonly form within the crater of a larger volcano (e.g. Mt. St. Helens), but can also stand alone or form part of a “dome complex”. A lava dome can take o ...[Read More]

Living with volcanic gases

Living with volcanic gases

Professor Tamsin Mather, a volcanologist in Oxford’s Department of Earth Sciences reflects on her many fieldwork experiences at Masaya volcano in Nicaragua, and what she has learned about how they effect the lives of the people who live around them.  Over the years, fieldwork at Masaya volcano in Nicaragua, has revealed many secrets about how volcanic plumes work and impact the environment, ...[Read More]