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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Re-arranging the Landscape

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, February 12, 2014/Categories: natural history, photography, environment

Most people in northern countries have been focused on surviving extreme winter events. In tropical Indonesia it has been an entirely different environmental story but nonetheless very extreme and on a landscape scale.

Sumatra's Mount Sinabung has exploded for the first time in over 400 years leveling villages, burning forests, and covering the landscape in thick dust.

Mount Singabung, June 2013  (credit: NASA)                     Mount Sinabung, February 2014  (credit: NASA)

Sinabung and similar volcano on Java that just exploded are re-arranging the landscape as they have done for millenniums. Evidence has been uncovered that an Indonesian volcano may have contributed to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire in the 6th Century AD. A super-volcano exploded with such force that huge volumes of ash circled the world causing crop failures, famines, and multiple catastrophes in the ancient world. The eruption split the original island in two pieces leaving Java and Sumatra with the volcano Krakatoa as an island remnant in the Sunda Straits to mark the spot.

Mount Sinabung probably won't erupt with such force now but it's worth remembering the power of volcanoes as we struggle with arctic blasts. freezing rain, and piles of snow. They can really re-arrange the landscape.


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