Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:
2004, October: I am still learning....

It all began back in 1996, when I became more interested in those volcanoes.

Since then my pages have been more and more popular, and at certain days several thousand
visitors have come to see what's going on. Whenever possible I have tried to keep up with the
news from day to day, even from hour to hour.

Some times I even put news about an eruption out on the net before everyone else.
The picture showing an eruption from St.Helens on October 5th at 09:09 PDT was on the net
just two or three minutes later. USGS used the same picture next day on their pages.
My 'compañero' John Seach at Volcanolive in Australia is also often our very early with his
'breaking news'.

So I've been more aquainted with volcanoes during those 8 years. Now finally having the book
'Volcanoes of the World', by Tom Simkin & Lee Siebert, Smithsonian Institution, 2nd edition.
I've been hunting for it ever since I sent an order to SI, just to learn that it was sold out and out
of print, several years ago.

Not sure whether I am proud of what I have already learned, or feeling ashamed of what I have
not learned.... how much incorrect I have put on all my pages. How many words I have not really
understood, and just how foolish some of my comments (at least some of the first ones) must
have been to my visitors. However, many of them (the visitors, of course) have come back,
and I wish to apologize for where I have mislead their understanding.

However, to my excuse - the page 'Preface To These Pages', found on the index-page,
does say 'And one more point at the end..... there might be a risk that some words, or the meaning of a
sentence, is wrongly translated back and forth between english and norwegian, and sometimes other
languages, too.'
and 'what I hope is to present this material - and all this information -
in a way'ordinary people' may understand it, not at least including my self.

Then to the essential part. What I should have learned:

First of all I have been using the expression 'volcano' wrong. (not bad, eh?) The above mentioned
book says about this: 'One of the most difficult problems of standardization has been the
varying usage of the word "volcano". Definitions of "volcano" range from individual
vents, measured in meters, through volcanic edifices measured in kilometers or tens of
kilometers, to volcanic field measured in hundreds of kilometers.'
'The interiors of ancient volcanoes, now eroded and exposed for geologic study, show us
that most subsurface magma chambers - the suppliers of lavas to overlying volcanoes - are
at least several kilometes in diameter. We also know that many comtemporary volcanoes
grow by additions from countless flank vents as well as activity at a central crater.'

As a consequence I am now going to list certain volcanoes, i.e. Teide on Tenerife to the
volcano 'Tenerife', and Timanfaya on the island of Lanzarote to 'Lanzarote', as all 'volcanoes' on
those two islands are to be counted as only one each, with many vents and comtemporary such.
They will still be listed as Teide and Timanfaya in our alphabetical list, but now also with their
'new' names, Tenerife and Lanzarote.

I have used the expression 'eruption' wrongly. 'An eruption is 'the arrival of volcanic products
at the Earth's surface.'
 Purely gaseous expulsions, vapour or water, is not included in the
expression 'eruption'. So as St.Helens is erupting almost daily at present is not true. Some times
water (rain) goes down into the cracks, and steam comes up. That is not an eruption. But a few
times we have also seen traces of ash, and then we have one.

'A common problem through much of the historical record is the popular tendency to
describe a volcano as "smoking" or "steaming".'
  That does not at all indicate whether
there is an eruption or not, because it doesn't say anything about ash or other volcanic material.
That means I have to be more careful as to when a real eruption occurs

I had a feeling that volcanoes were the reason many people have died. It is true that some times
a volcano is the cause of deaths, but as I know now, in most cases it is not the eruption, but
it is what happens later. More about this on our new page: "Are Volcanoes really dangerous?"
See also the table in 'Volcanic disasters' (norwegian text)

And there are a lot more. But I hope to update (forget it - will be to much work) and to use
my new knowledge in what is coming up next on my pages about volcanoes and volcanism.

Your comments are always most appreciated, and will listen to whatever you have to say.

October 2004.

 Experiences from my surfing for Volcanoes
 I'm learning - that's why I'm also asking....
 Are Volcanoes really dangerous?




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