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Tuesday Tidbits: Catching up with news from Yellowstone, Costa Rica, Indonesia and more.

Some other bits of news from around volcano world (that doesn’t have to do with Japan). Eruptions readers have sent me a pile of leads/articles over the last week and I’m slowing catching up with that – I’m sorry if I missed something along the way, but here are some interesting bits I received.

Indonesia: USGS scientists including John Pallister and Andy Lockhart of the Volcanic Disaster Assistance Program visited the area around Merapi to examine the devastation from this fall’s eruptive activity. The total deathtoll from the eruptions topped 300 people but Dr. Pallister said that the careful monitoring of Merapi might have saved over 20,000 lives from pyroclastic flows and lahars. Eruptions reader Kirby sent me a link for another active Indonesian volcano, Anak Krakatau, which was producing 1,200 meter / ~4,000 foot ash plume from the strombolian eruptions from the volcano.

Costa Rica: Kirby also sent in some info on the ongoing rumbling at Costa Rica’s Turrialba (spanish), mostly to do with how the restive volcano is hurting the local economy. The volcano sits within a national park that annually drew 20,000 visitors, but the restrictions due to the volcano have dampened those numbers significantly in the year since the volcano returned to activity. The link has a brief video to go along with it.

Yellowstone: Finally, there was a rational, calm look at the recent activity at the Yellowstone Caldera in which they talked Dr. Peter Cervelli of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. I think Dr. Cervelli sums it up nicely: “You are talking about a volcano that has not been erupted for hundred thousand years or so. We do not really expect any imminent volcanic activity. There is no panic, there is no alarm. Basically things in Yellowstone are doing what they are always doing. It is a very active place geologically, but that does not mean a volcano is going to erupt imminently.” Maybe now we can move beyond the fear-mongering and sensationalism.

Kizimen: Eruptions reader M. Randolph Kruger has been keeping us up to date with all the activity on the Kamchatka Peninsula, including the explosive eruptions at Kizimen. KVERT posted some pretty stunning images of ash plumes and pyroclastic flows at Kizimen from the last week and the NASA Earth Observatory added to the fun with an image of the ash plume and fallout over the snow of the peninsula. The EO also posted a great image of the caldera-filling Karymsky producing a small ash plume as well. Of course, with the latest update from KVERT comes the annual news that the weekly reports from KVERT will end starting February 5, 2011. Hopefully, this can be resolved quickly so we can continue to get all the details of the many eruptions going on the Kamchatka Peninsula. UPDATE: NASA EO just keeps on giving: another new image of Kizimen erupting with the ash plume drifting off to the northeast.

Top left: Pyroclastic flow travels down the slopes of Kizimen in Russia on January 26, 2011. Image courtesy of KVERT.


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