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How big are the grains in a volcanic ash cloud?

Ever since European airspace was temporarily shut down during the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, aircraft in the region have been allowed to fly through parts of volcanic ash clouds where the concentration is low. Satellite-based infrared sensors can be used … Continue reading

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How do satellites map volcanic ash clouds?

Explosive eruptions can spread volcanic ash across continent-scale distances. Ash from the 2011 eruption of Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano went right around the globe. The only realistic way of monitoring them is from space. Most people are familiar with the … Continue reading

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How to watch the eclipse on the side of your car

There will be a solar eclipse visible in the UK on Friday (20 March), peaking at around 09:30-09:45 in the morning, depending on where you are.  This BBC News article describes when and where it will be visible.  It also … Continue reading

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Four years of volcan01010: Highlights of 2014

Four years!  Well, that’s gone by pretty quickly.  Check out this post for highlights from the last 12 months.  As always, expect Iceland, volcanoes, Python and open source software/GIS. Iceland and volcanoes (volcan…) This year on the blog has been … Continue reading

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Easily plot magma compositions (TAS diagrams) in Python

I recently made a total alkali vs silica (TAS) plot to compare the magma of the Hekla 1947 eruption with the compositions of magmas from previous eruptions.  This post contains the code to draw the plot, including a module that … Continue reading

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Holuhraun fieldwork videos

When we sing Auld Lang Syne and raise a glass to 2015 on Wednesday, the eruption of Bárðarbunga volcanic system, Iceland, will have been going for four straight months. In that time, the eruption has covered over 80 km2 (1.3 … Continue reading

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Alaskan ash in Ireland: context, implications and media coverage

Long-range transport of volcanic ash was in the news last week, thanks to a recently published study by an international team of scientists, led by Britta Jensen and Sean Pyne-O’Donnell from Queen’s University in Belfast. They showed that volcanic ash … Continue reading

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Easily plot data on a Google Maps background with the QGIS OpenLayers plugin

It has never been so easy to overlay your data on a background of satellite images.  This post explains how to do it using QGIS, which is free/open-source software. This gives it the huge advantage that you can download it … Continue reading

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Fieldwork at the Holuhraun

Last week I joined the team from the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland who are on the ground monitoring the eruption of the Holuhraun. This post is a description of the eruption and the monitoring work … Continue reading

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Bárðarbunga – three weeks of tweets

It’s been over 3 weeks since unrest began at Bárðarbunga, and nearly a fortnight since the fissure eruption began at the Holuhraun.  It’s come at a busy time, so I haven’t managed to blog as much as I would have … Continue reading

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