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, 27 October 2011

Volcano of the Week # 22 - Mount St. Helens

This weeks volcano of the week is mainland's USA most famous volcano, Mount St. Helens, its best known eruption in 1980. It's in Washington (near Vancouver, not to be confused with the Canadian Vancouver) and part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc which starts in Alaska and through Canada and back down into the USA. I do find it annoying how it's American then not and then is again (incidentally America and Not America is how many Americans think the world is divided). It's a pretty volcano and known as the Mount Fuji of America due to dominance over the landscape, however after the 1980 eruption much of the volcano was destroyed and it has become less pretty and Fuji-like. Compared to other cascade volcanoes it is very active and young so the Justin Bieber of volcanoes if you will (is it worrying that he was the first young person I could think of?) As the 1980 eruption is the most famous and probably the most culturally important I will mainly write about that, I will however run through the other eruptive stages as some of them have great names. First we have Ape Canyon (40,000-35,000 years ago); then Cougar (20,000-18,000 years ago); followed by Swift Creek (13,000- 8,000 years ago). The period after those is Spirit Lake which is further divided into Smith Creek, Pine Creek, Castle Creek and Sugar Bowl, then 700 years dormancy was broken by the Kalama period in 1480, the Goat Rocks period lasted from 1800-1857.

 Pre eruption
During eruption

On 18th May 1980, Mount St Helens erupted with a VEI of 5, it was mainland USA largest eruption for 100 years. Prior to this climatic eruption there had been smaller less violent eruptions and earthquakes for a couple of months and there had been a zone of exclusion around the volcano. Due to the forewarning of the eruption it is one of the best photographed eruptions in history, this also helped to limit the fatalities however there were 57 in total. Among these was Harry Randall Truman, as well as the president he also shares a name with the fantastic character from Twin Peaks, who refused to leave Mount St. Helens lodge where he was a caretaker despite the numerous warnings. He became a minor celebrity, gave interviews and received fan letters throughout this time and is thought to have died with his 16 cats but friends and family said he would have wanted to die with the lake and mountain and couldn't have lived without them as he knew them. The eruption caused the north face of the volcano was destroyed which changed its shape dramatically, Spirit Lake which lies next to the volcano is significantly smaller and shallower after the eruption. After the eruption the area was preserved as a National Monument by Ronald Reagan, Mount St Helens last erupted in 2008.

From Portland

Monday, 24 October 2011

Finally, a good film called Volcano

I am aware of the 1997 film starring Tommy Lee Jones however I am wary of watching it as it looks appalling and I fear it may reduce my love of volcanoes ever so slightly (which may not be a bad thing). I have also seen Twister and I don't think it is actually necessary to watch every single disaster movie when all they do is substitute the natural disaster. But the film that actually looks good is Icelandic, like most good things, it won prizes at Montreal film festival and also been nominated for Reykjavik film festival's Golden Puffin (see everything Icelandic is good). My favourite types of films are very slow and depressing, however I did watch Dancer in the Dark last night and it was a bit too much (I'm really resisting writing another Bjork related post but I'll try), Volcano seems to fit this bill- slow and depressing not Bjork related. After retiring and returning to the capital which I think is due to an eruption, Hannes starts to get know his family again but due to years of neglect this doesn't seem possible. I can't really write a proper review as I haven't seen it but I think it looks pretty great. So watch it if you can and it has footage of a volcanic eruption which should surely be enough reason to watch it. Here is a link to website with a trailer and reviews from people who have actually seen the film. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Issue Five

Free poster

Let me know if you want a copy

Mount Fuji Scape

Here is a picture of Mount Fuji, I want to position it somewhere in the flat so it looks like a fake window so I can pretend I live in Japan. The little things in the forest are ghosts, I wanted to have people committing suicide but apparently that is distasteful- luckily the forest was rumoured to be haunted by ghosts as well as being the 2nd most popular suicide location.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Evil Troll or Kettle

I wrote a post the other day about the possible El Hierro eruption on the Canary Islands but for some unknown reason it got deleted. I think that this unknown reason might been that I changed the language to Finnish and couldn't understand anything, I'm now back to English (UK) so we should be fine. As it wasn't a very good post and went widely off topic, by the end it was more about a surprise birthday party where I dressed up as a lobster, I didn't care that it was lost so you will never hear my views on El Hierro. But anyway there is a now another potential eruption. I don't know what it says that that I am now writing about potential eruptions as opposed to actual ones; that I am so well tuned into the world of volcanoes I can predict eruptions, that there are a lot of potential eruptions now, that they have been featured on The Guardian website (which in itself could mean a whole host of things). The eruption that is now thought to be imminent has actually been in the magma for a while now, since the eruption of Eyjafjallajoekull last year. People may remember that one of the main fears about the Eyja eruption was that an even bigger even more powerful eruption would take place afterwards, from the volcano Katla. The sudden interest in Katla is due to the fact that earthquakes have been detected in the area and the volcano tends to erupt twice a century and hasn't done so since 1918. The volcano is either named after a kettle or an evil troll and I really don't know what I'd prefer to be true (it could make a really good Arcade Fire song though, maybe I'll pitch it to them).

The 1918 eruption lasted about a month, blocked off sunlight which killed crops and melted ice caps which flooded farms. All people seem concerned about now is even more flight disruptions, I know that when Eyja erupted and people missed flights it was awful as people lost money, couldn't see friends etc but it's not that bad compared to say death or something. I suppose we are so certain that in the Western world our lives can't be properly affected by volcanoes, that we are so advanced, that we will be able to cope. But I think it could be worse as it could have a knock on effect causing homelessness and loss of crops which is assuming that this eruption will be around the same strength but it could be greater which will obviously have much larger effects. I know there are strategies in place in Iceland so the villagers are likely to be fine as this volcano is well monitored and that this eruption probably won't cause the end of life in Europe, I just feel we are being a bit complacent if flights are our main worry. Volcanoes and nature are a lot more powerful than we realise and with all our scientific advances we are still unable to control nature.

The next issue of Volcano Club is slightly delayed due to bad editing on my part, so I would like to take this opportunity to tell my editor that I read this post carefully thrice but apologies for any mistakes (I think that this is probably a bad way to communicate with my mother) 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Volcano of the Week #21 - Anak Krakatau

It's erupting again which is pretty exciting, the volcano isn't actually that exciting, the main interest of Anak Krakatau is that it was Krakatoa. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883 it blew itself and its island apart, over years and years of tectonic activity another volcanic island Anak Krakatau grew and was visible in 1927. However due to frequent eruptions that followed the island kept disappearing and reappearing, Anak Krakatau in its current form didn't materialise until 1930 and it continues to grow at about 13cm per week. I like the idea of a young volcano struggling to form and become its own entity especially when it has such a large legacy to live up to. It's one of my favourite volcanoes though because of this history and also because it has such a distinctive shape. It is still growing and erupting so I suppose the future for this young volcano is fairly unknown but eruptions are frequent and tend to be Strombolian, the last one has been going on for a while and it has erupted earlier this year.

I wrote a sonnet about the original Krakatoa (when I say wrote I mean it was found in the ruins after the 1883 eruption) for the new travel zine which has just gone to print (when I say gone to print I mean sent to my parents) and I was going to post it here in celebration but I can't remember it. So you can have Bjork's plate tectonic song instead. The moon one is also really really good so if you want to diverse from volcanoes I strongly recommend that one.

New zine should be printed and up next week, let me know if you want one (when I say want one I mean to buy, I am unemployed)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Volcano Love, Metro Incompetence

When I was at work today I started reading the metro in the kitchen, it was my last day so I obviously wasn't going to do any actual work. The article I was most interested in was about a couple who met through their love of volcanoes and went to Kilauea for their second date. Now the article doesn't say where they are from but we can assume they are either from Hawaii or not, if they are from Hawaii then going to see a volcano wouldn't be that remarkable however if they're not from Hawaii then it is fucking mental because Hawaii is ages away from everywhere. They got married on Kilauea and live there, again if they're from Hawaii it's not that amazing because there is probably nothing else to do there. But the shoddy reporting of the metro doesn't report this vital fact. Earlier I was commenting on how bad wikipedia is for getting information but you can get some quite humorous stuff like when it said that a'a lava makes hiking difficult. The metro just leaves out important information but I will forgive it as it once ran the headline 'Teacher Made Me Photocopy My Face'. Another piece of vital information missed is that living on Kilauea isn't very dangerous as it erupts so slowly and viscously, it's not like they are living on Vesuvius or something.


Anywhere here is the article, I don't think that the pun is very good, in future they should come to me for volcanic puns.