Thursday, 18 December 2008


On August 7th, in the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska, Kasatochi volcano erupted. I don't remember reading about this at all in the news at the time, but the whole thing was rather dramatic: a remote island not known to be volcanically active, home to 100,000 breeding seabirds, and 2 biologists studying the birds, stages a series of massive eruptions which transform the island! The biologists are rescued by a fishing boat with only minutes to spare. Thousands of seabird chicks are killed, no trace is left of the research station, the island's shoreline is extended 400m out to sea, and the formerly-lush island now looks like the surface of the moon.

You can read the whole story of the eruption here. And there is a "before" picture here and "after" pictures here, here and here.

And material thrown out by the volcano has caused dramatically-coloured sunsets over a huge area of the Midwestern US. You can see some examples here. And there's a neat animation of the spread of ejected dust and sulphur dioxide around the northern hemisphere here.

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