Volcano Club

Volcano Club only offers one type of membership - and that's lifetime. To become a member send some volcanic themed work to the HQ (volcanoclubhq@gmail.com) and you might get a codename or some other cool shit.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Volcanic Ash Cloud Update

When Eyjafjallajoekull erupted last year, I thought it was quite funny and symbolic that loads of people were unable to fly. But I'm supposed to be going to Sweden next week and I'll actually be pretty pissed off I can't fly because of Grimsvotn. So I just wanted to explore the possible outcomes of this eruption on my flight to Sweden. This is probably going to be quite boring if you're not actually flying to Sweden with me but maybe you're going to Norway or somewhere similar and this may be slightly relevant, if not I don't care. As you can tell by this map (issued by the international aeroplane committee) it doesn't look likely that my flight path will be affected by the ash cloud.

However as promising as this news may seem, it is flights in Germany (marked as Deutschland on the map) that have been badly affected which is almost in my flight path and therefore slightly concerning. Many experts are saying that like years occurrence people are being far too cautious over this eruption; one BA plane flew straight through 'the red zone' apparently the primary advice is to avoid flying in visible ash, which is a lot easier than avoiding invisible ash. If some of you are unaware about the impact of volcanic ash clouds on planes the two main problem are, the particles get in the engines and clog them up. The second, a phenomenon known as natures sandblaster is that the pyroclastic particles travelling at high speed etch the windows of planes and reduce visibility. It is odd that two volcanoes have erupted in succession causing this damage to airlines, maybe we're just not very good at dealing with eruptions these days, airports close in Iceland all the time and it's fine. Eyja was also a relatively small eruption, however it was more the weather conditions that made the ash cloud so destructive, which is a factor that has made this one less so. It's probably all due to global warming, what did we blame stuff on before global warming, god? I don't really know what I'd rather have, obviously I'm not denying global warming, I'm not that much of a twat, but it's just a bit rational and unromantic. Maybe I need one of the children's books about global warming with a nice little story with a dragon or a volcano, up and coming post on the links between volcanoes and dragons.

I'll let you know how Sweden goes; hopefully I get there.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Obama's gone down in my opinion polls.

I love Barack Obama as much as the next person(more than many), this video of him buying Guinness is probably the best thing I've seen all day; Obama is cool (it's been a bad day, I almost saw a Manchester City parade). I just think it's a bit wuss of him to leave Ireland just because a volcano is erupting in Iceland, despite there only being one letter change it's not the same country, Obama is so stupid. I'm so sorry Barack, I love you, I really really do. But due to last years madness of the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption (which is interestingly your favourite volcano) every time a little volcano erupts people go mental and think they will never be able to fly anywhere again.

It was Grimsvotn that erupted and it is thought to be the most powerful eruption in Iceland in fifty years, it the fact that this eruption was so powerful that it is likely to be less disruptive than Eyja. The eruption is thought to be short and powerful meaning there will be no prolonged danger to air travel. Grimsvotn is also home to sub-glacial lakes and most of it's eruptions are thought to have been sub-glacial. The volcano has the same fissure system as Laki (Iceland's biggest volcano) and was erupting during Laki's massive 1783 eruption. Another link volcano and extraterrestrial link here- bacteria found in the sub-glacial lake are thought to be keys to life on Mars. These bacteria were the first to be found surviving in low oxygen conditions which are kept slightly heated by the volcanic warmth, as there are volcanoes and lakes on Mars (which is pretty cold) this is possibly of how life could survive there.

to be fair there was quite a lot of ash

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Never steal rocks from a volcano

As I haven't read my choose your adventure volcano book in a while so I though it'd give a go today. It was over very quickly, we went over a river around a forest and then searched for a bubble cave. When we were looking for the bubble cave my friend John decided to steal some volcanic rocks to sell as paperweights. I told him not to do it as it'd be bad luck and Pele wouldn't like it (apparently Brazilian footballers also love volcanoes) but he did it anyway and then my horse tripped over and broke her leg. So we had to go home, luckily John put the rocks back but I still didn't get the sword! (I got quite involved)

In other news Vesuvius: the most famous volcano in the world is book on the week on radio 4.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Things I have seen about volcanoes today.

There have been a couple of things I've seen today related to volcanoes, non of them very exciting. Maybe due to my sheer disappointment that there were NO volcano related songs in the eurovision I'm looking for volcanoes more than ever. I do not count Jedwards hair as volcanic, just ridiculous. The first thing is the current volvic advert, which to be honest is pretty crap and just has a grassy volcano erupting water. A youtube search discovered this gem which I vaguely remember from a couple of years ago and is firm proof that volvic should stick to adverts about volcanoes, not dancing babies as that was just weird. This volcano is called George by the way, which I think is a nice name for a volcano. 

My dad text me about the second volcanic event which was Alberto Contador winning a Giro d'Italia stage at Mount Etna. Ever since seeing Contador winning the tour de France I've been a big fan of his cycling so I'm delighted he won this volcanic stage. It looks pretty great too.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Volcano Record Breaking

This volcano has been made from melting an unwanted record (some dance shit) in an oven, then shaping and painting. I'm hoping to make it into a bigger volcarama, it's looks pretty Hawaiian so I'm thinking of making it into an island. As it has a ready made caldera it'd make a great working volcano, I'd thought I write a post about it now because it'll take me ages to get round to making it more volcanic.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Volcano of the Week #17 - Mount Teide

This volcano is located on the Canary Islands (Tenerife), is Spain's highest point (3,718m) and the third largest volcano in the world. The last eruption was in 1909, despite the volcano's dormancy it is a decade volcano and it is thought that it may erupt at any time soon. The park surrounding the volcano is a World Heritage Site and is the second most visited volcanic landscape after Mount Fuji. Like Fuji the volcanic soils have given the area rich soils and unique plant life. Tenerife has 33 endemic plant species which are thought to be a result of the nutrient rich soils provided by the pyroclastic flows. The habitat on the volcano is harsh and the plants have therefore adapted to these conditions and have semi-spherical forms, waxy coating and high flower production. I am aware that no one apart from me is interested in plant adaptations so I'll start writing about volcanoes, which you would hope is a common interest to people reading this blog.

There are legends relating to Teide, the Guanches aborigines believed that their devil (Guayota) trapped their god of light (Magec) inside the volcano. The supreme god Achaman then fought Guayota and imprisoned him inside the volcano. This story is quite similar the legend of Typhon becoming trapped inside Etna; it's interesting how different cultures come up with similar legends to explain their volcanoes, however I am sure there are many reasons for this which classical scholars could explain to me. 
The island was formed by the activity of three volcanoes going through four stages of eruption which resulted in Teide's current caldera. This is thought to be formed by either the vertical collapse of the volcano or a series of lateral gravitational collapses. There have been many historical eruptions of Teide, one is thought to have been witnessed by Colombus as he sailed to the new world. Teide remains an important symbol to Tenerife and is on their coat of arms (I have written about volcano flags before so it's good to know that there are some). Finally I would like to dedicate this post to my friend Ian Teader whose name is a bit like Teide. 

Sunday, 1 May 2011


I think the rocks on the volcano ruin this slightly, luckily I have a supply of records to turn into volcanoes.